This week was Naidex National, the UK’s largest disability, homecare and rehabilitation event. I went on the look-out for innovative and attractively designed products for older people.
Here are seven of the best:
I am a great fan of the IHUS/instant annex concept and it was great to see a mock up of an IHUS building at Naidex. The IHUS was being used as a showcase for independent living products and whilst an excellent idea in principle, the presentation was rather shambolic – such a shame when standout products such as a smart Design Matters kitchen and HEWI bathroom fittings (about which more later) had been used.
Sleek, aspirational, high end and effortlessly functional, the award winning HEWI bathroom range was for me the star of this year’s show. HEWI’s guiding principle is universal product form – avoiding stigmatisation through inclusive design. Instead of ugly white plastic grab rails, HEWI use sleek, chrome support rails and make sure that all other surfaces (towel rails, shower rails) are secure enough to hold onto. Feel-good bathrooms for people of every age.
Adam Thomas of Design Matters is the country’s leading designer for accessible, innovative and high quality kitchens which include features such as height adjustable counter-tops and hobs, dishwasher and fridge drawers and easy reach cupboards.
As well as the large manufacturers, it was also good to see a number of innovative, smaller businesses bringing new designs to the market.
The Such + Such Design team were showcasing some delightful new products which were beautifully designed and attractively packaged. These included the DUO handle which clips onto everyday mugs and glasses and Bridgit, a useful clip “which solves the problem of what to do with your walking stick when you are not using it”.
Flo is the innovative and sculptural walking and standing stick developed by Ilsa Parry in conjunction with Philippe Starck which is causing quite a stir. What was great to see was how enthusiastic and passionate Ilsa is about her product and making a difference to the lives of older people – we definitely need more designers like her!
Safesip is a re-useable drinks cover created by Melissa Edmunds after her father was admitted to hospital and Melissa realised that a solution needed to be found which would make life easier for those who struggled to sit up when they needed a drink.
And finally, for sheer joie de vivre, I loved the Veliac electric tricycles – I definitely want one of those!