Pat and Jean, both approaching their 90th birthdays, reside at Poppy fields, Alpha’s extra care development in Saughall Massie. In Longevity week they shared with us their thoughts about the role of the home within their experience of ageing.
Relocating to supported living
I, (Jean Fenley), used to live in my own place, until I slipped on the wet bathroom floor. I couldn’t return to a house that was putting my safety at risk, so I had to relocate from the hospital to a care home. I had a terrible experience… staff left my door open all the time, I had no privacy and poor access to decent amenities. It just didn’t feel like a place I could call my home.
'When my son saw Poppyfields... he immediately knew that I could be happier'.
When my son saw an advert for Poppyfields in the paper, he immediately knew that I could be happier. I loved the supported living scheme straight away. I like to help myself as much as I possible can and this apartment has everything that I need to keep active, social and safe. My bathroom has a walk in shower and Invisible Creation’s toilet roll holder grab rail and corner shelf grab rail, to prevent me from falling. I enjoy going down for dinner, going to the bingo and walking around my spacious and modern apartment. It’s my own home. I think more accessible homes should be built for future generations, like my sons. Everyone should have the choice to live somewhere like this.
I, (Pat Gerrard), was lucky, that my daughter is a wheelchair assessment practitioner and was early to convince me that my previous house wasn’t going to be suitable for me for the long term. I used to swim and walk everyday, so staying fit is important to me. I love that my apartment at Poppyfields can support me to keep active. I use assistive products throughout the home and a perching chair, to sit by my unit, wash the dishes and make a cup of tea.
‘I love that my apartment can support me to keep active’
Although many older people remain resistant to leave current homes, I keep advising my friends to take the step into accessible independent living places, before it’s too late. If left to late, hospital or care homes may be their only option.
Celebrating longevity week
‘Longevity Week was incredibly exciting for us at Invisible Creations. We celebrated the important role of accessible homes and environments for an aging population. As part of the week we were thrilled to join Professor Chris Witty at the UKRI’s Healthy Ageing Challenge conference and hear him talk on prevention, ‘Ramps, Grab rails... simple things’ , as the way to shape a society of people living longer.
‘...grab rails...simple things’, as the way to shape a society of people living longer.
He also stated that we should be encouraging the private sector in this field. This was an extremely poignant statement for us here at Invisible Creations, as we embark on 2024 with plans for our products to go beyond housing associations and into the retail space.’ Says Laura Wood, Director, Invisible Creations