Smart Care for People Living With Disabilities
As we have discussed in the past, people wish to stay in their own home for as long as possible, while remaining autonomous and independent. This is true not only for for people as they progress through the aging process, and for people with physical disabilities.
We live with smart connected devices all around us. These devices, phones, tablets, smart watches, appliances and even security systems, serve the purpose of making our lives easier, more efficient, and more convenient. We often forget that these devices not only provide these benefits, but they also offer significant value to help those with disabilities become more independent. With smart devices, people with disabilities are transitioning from being dependent on caregivers to becoming more independent through their smart devices; this not only makes their lives easier but also gives them a sense of empowerment and self-belief.
“We see this as an opportunity to put this technology in the hands of people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them become as independent as they can so they’re not as reliant on other people to help them function during their day” said Pamela Zotynia, executive director of The Arc of Luzerne County, when she used a smartwatch to track her disabled 28 year old son, Robert. Industry experts agree that – Internet of Things has tremendous potential to bring benefits to persons with disabilities.
Obviously, disabled people are more exposed to challenges in their daily lives, so smart homes can be used to support them, providing safe, secure and accessible environments. The market now offers systems that allow users to control many features or automate them. Their environments can also be monitored by smart home systems to ensure safety and generate alerts when dangerous situations arise. Systems that use sensors and intelligent algorithms that learn the daily habits and behaviors of individuals and send an alert if there is any deviation of the daily routine that may indicate any potential health condition change.
Also, home automation technologies utilize a variety of connected cameras and sensors to relay information to the user’s smart phone, allowing for remote control of lights, thermostats, appliances and security systems, making all of these function more accessible.. For example:
- Lighting Control and Modification. The ability to control the house lights via a remote control or smartphone app is an excellent tool for anyone who has mobility problems or trouble reaching light switches.
- Retrofit Automatic Door Opening Systems. A powered door opening system for the home should either be controlled by a wall mounted switch, or connected to a control system to allow to open and close the door using an app.
- Wireless Socket Control. There are several solutions out there which allow users to switch off the home sockets wirelessly.
- Entry Control. A networked door entry system and wireless lock combine to offer an excellent solution.
Devices, new developments, technology all mean more independent living, more personalized care, and more flexibility and mobility for disabled people.
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