In a previous blog I discuss how renovating a home to meet ADA requirements often does not meet the needs of the client. Perhaps they might need expanded adaptions ranging from an enhanced hallway turn radius to a 25 square foot shower area. Several years ago we adapted our first “voice activated house” for a customer who was a quadriplegic. Providing a handicap accessible home with an automated dimension to accessibility goes beyond installing a ramp or widening a doorway. After the renovation our client was able, from his motorized wheelchair, to control the temperature in his home, have automated lighting, video monitored security/access, automated TV/Stereo, dictate e-mails, and answer the phone. The client admitted the automation gave him an enhanced sense of independence and self-worth while reducing his reliance on paid care givers.
Over the last few years many home security companies have developed lower cost products for remote controlled products for the home. These products can also be utilized to provide independent living to someone who has limited use of their arms and legs. When you add voice recognition a person who previously was not able to push a button now assumes command of almost all electronic devices and systems in their home.
As you think through the planning phases of an accessible renovation be sure to give some thought to the “electronic”/automated dimension. Home Automation can complement the physical changes someone may be experiencing leading to the renovation of a property. As home automation renovations now become commonplace, contractors and clients are only constrained by their imagination. Voice activated vacuum robots? Absolutely! Remote controlled pet feeder? Of course! The possibilities are limitless.
If you have a home automation story or strategy that you would like to share please do.
Patrick Rafter, CEO
Creative Housing|Creative Renovations has been a pioneer in providing custom accessible home renovations throughout Central Ohio since 1992.