Disability show-home an eye-opener
The techno-tricks and design delights this new city show-home boasts, are envy-inducing.
Palmerston North’s Enable New Zealand has just opened it’s latest innovation. On the Main St frontage of the old RSA, Enable has set up its EASIE-Living showroom and demonstration centre. EASIE stands for Equipment, Advice, Services, Information and Education, and its central city outreach next door to the Central PHO’s Health on Main is a showcase of modern living.
Inside the building is a display kitchen, bathroom, master and children’s bedroom, and a study. Thoughtfully designed, the rooms are stacked with features to encourage independent living.
EasieLiving’s Rose Boddy operates from a wheelchair, and reckons the kitchen is to die for.
‘‘It’s the first of its kind in the country... full of low-cost whizzy stuff.’’
Nothing is out of reach. Rose can wheel right up to the sink to wash food and do dishes. None of the cupboards are too high. With the press of a switch, high cupboards slide down the wall so she can access their contents. Even the bench and stove top height is adjustable, accommodating people of all heights, again at the press of a switch.
The pantry has easy-access swing out shelving. Under the wall oven with its side-hinged door, is a retractable heatresistant benchtop so she can safely manoeuvre hot oven dishes.
‘‘It makes me feel like an everyday average person.’’
A central control panel operates smart windows, blinds and doors, and house temperature control.
‘‘It comes down to working out simple things most able-bodied people take for granted.’’
The main bedroom is fitted with a room-width hoist. The doors are equipped with sensors, push pad controls as well as key controls.
The child’s bedroom has pulldown clothes racks, and the draws have see-through fronts. Flexiplumbing in the bathroom means sink-tops can swing out to accom- modate the user.
Enable’s Raewyn Cameron says the rooms are designed with future-proofing in mind – adaptions so that older and incapacitated people can retain independence in their own home if they wish.
For anyone, disabled or not, who is planning a new home, the innovations at EasieLiving are well worth investigating.
EasieLiving’s Rose Boddy and Lesley Harrison demonstrate smart-kitchen features in the new Enable showroom, including the heat-proof under-oven bench-draw, while the flexi-plumbed elevator bench with sink, cooktop and wall cupboards can be seen in the background