Today I had the opportunity to tour the Living Resources “Smart” house in my area. Our agency is starting to explore this technology and how it may affect the lives of those that receive our agency services.
Living resources provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to help them meet and exceed their personal goals. At this residence, the staff work tirelessly to provide a home-like setting with group learning experiences and opportunities to develop the everyday skills of those individuals that live here. Having the Smart technology not only enhances the job they do, it also provides a much more accessible and less intrusive environment to the residents. It was a dream and a vision that turned into a reality.
I saw a lot of neat technology today. Not necessarily new technology per se, but used in new and different ways. The planning was amazing from the ground up. First I noticed the barrier free floor plan that allowed all residents to feel a sense of inclusion. The lights, blinds, etc. were all easily controlled by using an iPad and accompanying app. I also saw beds that automatically shifted pressure points to prevent common health issues as well as preserve a good night’s sleep for individuals. Also included were Room ID sensors so that staff could check in when they did room scans to not only ensure they were getting done but also reduce and eliminate that paperwork. Then there was the kitchen- A kitchen that was completely accessible from the size of the table to the height and depth of the cabinets, and even a motion sensor on the stove unit to turn it off if it was accidentally left on. And all of this made possible using solar power. There is much that I am leaving out but you get the idea of just how Smart this house is.
It isn’t the technology that necessarily makes it Smart. It is the creative planning and the careful execution of the technology that enhances lives and creates more opportunities for independence for the people that call this house home. It is a blessing for the families of these individuals as well, that have just as many dreams and hopes, ensuring their children live a happy and independent life to the best of their potential. The Smart Home is a place these residents will call home throughout their lives no matter what physical or medical challenges they may face. There is just such comfort in that itself.
Technology is an amazing thing. When combined with creative minds, careful planning, urgent needs, and a common vision, there is no telling what can be done. In this case, lives are changed. Lives are made better. You just can’t put a pricetag on giving someone a better quality of life.
For more information on living resources and the Smart home check out:
For an article about tech smart homes check out:
Mark Giufre (deTechtive1) 2013