11 Jan

Changing Perceptions on Home Adaptations

Changing Perceptions on Home Adaptations Changing Perceptions on Home Adaptations
 
So how can we communicate to those whose lives are constantly encountering hurdles in their everyday life? How can we assure those living in their own homes that there is a whole host of untapped resources potentially available? Research has revealed that not only do these solutions need to offer practicality and efficiency, but also appeal to an individual’s goals and lifestyle choices.* By raising awareness emotively rather than solely as a clinical service, the information available may be more effectively spread amongst the appropriate communities. It’s almost as though the bespoke nature of home adaptations needs to be applied to the techniques used to advertise them. Rather than making it a blanket communication, focus on why these individuals need assistance in certain communities, and use this to target them directly. By personalising the information, it will ultimately allow individuals to understand what is available, and how these can be accessed within their circumstances.

Home adaptations need to be invigorating and exciting, not a far-fetched solution, but an easy lifestyle choice which will enable people to continue a life in which they are fulfilled. Our assistive technology Stores Manager here at Steeper emphasised how sometimes it’s not always about the latest high-tech solutions that can be appealing, but that often “the most simple and basic products can provide a life-changing solution as they integrate seamlessly into everyday life.” We can’t assume that everyone who requires a home adaptation needs it for the same reason, but we can offer positive messages that feel bespoke and aimed directly to those who never knew – or previously rejected the notion.

Ageing Better has outlined ways in which language and visuals could be improved in the home improvement sector. Their main focus is on positive messaging and “inclusively designed” services, with suggestions such as the ‘Disabled Facilities Grant’ being changed to ‘Facilitating Independence Grant.’ They also suggest that there needs to be a concerted effort to change the perception of home adaptations. Move away from the clinical visuals and make it more about how can a product or solution assist you personally - helping you cook your favourite meal or tend to the garden with more ease.*
This research has emerged alongside the Government announcing that they will be investing an extra £76 million a year on building specialised, accessible housing for independent living – further evidence that the funding is there, but how awareness is raised may need evaluating.

At Steeper, we have found that client stories are often the most effective force of communication, and can offer reassurance particularly in cases where individuals’ may feel they are alone in their needs. By using client case studies, we have found it creates a personal voice to the solutions available, offering insights on not only the products, but also the actual process of installation and aftercare. Creating a community of voices who can offer guidance to those in the same scenario can shout louder than published research or private advertising, as they are able to assure that home adaptations are not signs of vulnerability, but a tool which can be personal, discreet, and fundamental in returning freedom.

Take a look at some of our client case studies below detailing how the adaptations to their home, and the addition of environmental control has created positive turning points for them:

Jon's Story     Nicos' Story

Rita Hunt Court's Story
 
Research referenced:
*Rachel Docking, Homes that help: A personal and professional perspective on home adaptations, Centre for Ageing Better. July 2018.