A typical house isn’t built with the principles of universal design in mind. For people living with disabilities or physical impairments caused by a serious health condition, certain modifications are necessary to make a house functional.
As smart home technology grows and advances, it is starting to be recognized as a highly recommended home modification that can truly improve an individual’s quality of life.
Vivint has teamed up with ConsumerSafety.org to provide resources and advice for homeowners to utilize smart home technology to make independent living a possibility.
What is a smart home and how can it help with independent living?
A comprehensive smart home combines home security and home automation to protect individuals and families and simplify everyday tasks around the home.
For people living with disabilities, the benefits of smart home technology continue to increase as people are finding more useful and creative ways to put the tech to use.
Jack Fanning, is an excellent example of a person adapting the technology to suit his needs as a quadriplegic. With the ability to wield a tablet stylus, Jack has taken back several independent living skills like control over his thermostat and command of the front door. Watch Jack’s inspiring story:
How a smart home helps people with common disabilities
Here are some other examples of how a Vivint system helps people with disabilities or medical conditions that might otherwise prevent independent living:
Quick response in an emergency
are prone to seizures
have a heart condition
are taking medications with potentially dangerous side effects
Let’s be neighbors.
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Know who’s on the move
Problem: Wandering can be an incredibly dangerous side effect of some disabilities and health conditions. It can be a safety hazard for the individual and a major stressor for family members and other caregivers.
Solution: A medical alert system helps caregivers keep track of their wander-prone dependent by utilizing the system of sensors installed throughout the house. For example, if a child with autism leaves the house, the system will immediately notify his or her parents of the door opening, allowing them to quickly respond and locate their child.
Indoor and outdoor cameras can help parents keep an eye on their child and have peace of mind that they’re safe and where they should be.
Consider this technology for family members living with:
other forms of dementia
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Control your home with the swipe of a finger or power of your voice
Problem: As we saw in the video with Jack, some people with disabilities are forced to rely heavily on caregivers and family members for simple tasks like adjusting the thermostat.
Solution: Home automation can simplify activities like turning off lights at night, adjusting the thermostat, or locking the front door. There are two ways to control the home that can be of benefit for people with certain types of disabilities:
Voice control: Vivint integrates with Google Assistant enabled devices and Amazon Echo to allow homeowners to control various aspects of their home with simple voice commands. (Ex: “Hey, Google. Turn the thermostat to 72.”)
App control: The Vivint app puts your home on your phone. One app lets you control your home, whether you’re at home or on the go. The app is easy to use and features an intuitive interface.
These home control options not only save time, but can bring confidence and freedom to individuals who lacks fine motor skills due to a disability or serious health condition.
Consider this technology for family members living with:
the aftereffects of a stroke
Let caregivers come and go while keeping the home secure
Problem: Many people living alone with a disability or serious health condition need frequent help and attention from caregivers or at-home healthcare providers. With so many people having access to the house, it can compromise a person’s safety.
Solution:Smart locks increase the security of the home. Rather than handing out several house keys that can be abused or misplaced, homeowners can assign temporary unique access codes to each caregiver and deactivate the codes when access is no longer needed. When an access code is used, the homeowner will be notified on their smart home app.
Not only does a smart lock protect the home and individual, but it can provide relief for people with limited mobility who can’t easily answer the door. When paired with a doorbell camera, homeowners can use the smart home app to see and speak to visitors on the doorstep and unlock the door to let them in, without having to physically answer the door.
Consider a smart lock for family members who use different at-home care services or have hired multiple caregivers.
Financial support options for home modifications
When advanced technology comes into play, many consumers worry about the overall cost. For individuals with high medical bills who are already paying for large, accessible home modifications like wheelchair ramps or modified appliances, an additional home cost can seem overwhelming.
However, it’s important to consider the true value of a smart home system. More than a network of cameras and an app, smart home technology offers safety, peace of mind, and support with daily tasks.
With flexible 0% APR equipment financing and a monthly service fee that costs less than most cell phone bills, Vivint makes getting started with a smart home easy.
There are also other financial resources help finance necessary home improvements and modifications for people living with disabilities.
Located all across the country, Centers for Independent Living focus on providing the help and resources needed to allow people with disabilities or serious health conditions to live dignified lives in society. Many of these groups also set aside a portion of their budget to aid families and individuals with the costs of necessary home modifications. Call the National Council on Independent Living at 703.525.3406 to find resources in your area.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your disabilities, you may be able to seek legal action and receive compensation. A situation where this applies is if a newborn suffers a birth injury like Cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice. Funds awarded from a lawsuit could be used for any home modifications and long-term care the child needs. Other situations include debilitating workplace injuries or disabilities caused by vehicular accidents.
Another finance option for homeowners with disabilities to consider is a government-backed home improvement loan. An FHA Title 1 loan covers improvements that “substantially protect or improve the basic livability” of a homeowner’s property. It can be argued that smart home technology improves overall safety and livability of a person’s home, especially the home of someone with a disability.
Having a disability shouldn’t stop a person from living their best life, and technology is quickly coming to people’s aid to make independent living a more viable and safe possibility.
When modifying your home to adjust to a disability or health concern, consult experts at every level, from occupational therapists to the knowledgeable smart home specialists at Vivint, to create a home solution that is right for you.
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Qualifying system purchase requires minimum $599.99 equipment purchase, professional installation and applicable services agreement. DIY system purchases and reactivations of previously-installed systems not eligible for offer. Click here for monthly service plan prices. Equipment purchase may be financed subject to an agreement with one of Vivint’s financing partners. Offer not available in all states or provinces. Monthly $1.48 cellular network maintenance fee applies. Taxes and local permit fees may apply. New Vivint Customers only.
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System supports up to six cameras subject to sufficient WiFi speeds. Without a Vivint services plan, product and system functionality is limited (including loss of remote connectivity). Speak to a Vivint representative at the phone number in this offer for complete equipment, services, and package details, including pricing and financing details. Products and services in Louisiana provided by Vivint Louisiana Commercial Certificate #58280. See Vivint license numbers here.