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Using Home Automaton For Aging in Place

Using Home Automaton For Aging in Place
Doug Kasper - Thu Jul 02, 2009 @ 06:14PM
Comments: 52

Using Home Automaton For Aging in Place

Did you just read the headline of this article and say to yourself, "What is Aging in Place?" Aging in Place is a movement that is going on in the building trades that has us all asking is this structure we are building going to allow the homeowners to stay in their house as long as possible?

This can mean kind of obvious things like building wider hallways and doorways in case we someday find ourselves in a wheelchair. But there are many more subtle changes and awareness that come into the design factor, like choosing counter top colors and floor colors that look good, but also are a sharp contrast to each other. This way when our eyes start to go we can still find the corners fairly well. There are many structural and design elements to consider when building a home with the mindset of aging in place. The building association has a ceritification called CAPS, which means that the contractor, architect, or designer you are working with is aware and trained on the many various aspects to consider. You can find a list of CAPS certified individuals here:
http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=9334

It is really an exciting movement if you start to think how much money we could save as a nation by simply staying in our homes a couple of years longer, we'd probably be able to pay off all that stimulus debt fairly quickly. Well maybe not, but it surely would save you individually a lot of money especially if you have a house that is almost paid off. Nursing homes and other care facilities as you know cost a fortune.

OK you are probably now wondering why I am writing about aging in place on a home automation / home theater website? Well as a home automation integrator we are very excited to announce that we have been researching some of the various issues that seniors face and looking at how we can use home automation technology to assist them. So far we have developed a "fall prevention" system that is focused on the use of automated lights to keep walkways brightly lit. With this system one can walk into their bedroom with the overhead lights on full strength, and then once they lay down in bed for a short duration the lights will automatically turn off. This way they do not have to walk from the door of their room to their bed in the dark. Then, when they get out of bed in the middle of the night the lights will instantly turn on. We also use motion sensors with automated lights in the bathroom to keep these walkways safe. You may be aware that falls are the number one reason seniors have to stop living independently and instead of to go to a care facility.

This is one small example of home automation technology being applied to help people age in place. If you are interested in following the ways we continue to utilize technology and home automation in aging in place please visit the site www.ageinplace.com. There is rumor that I maybe authoring a regular column there.

To find out more about Aging in Place please visit:http://www.aginginplaceinitiative.org/

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