Dis­abil­ity show-home an eye-opener

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

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.

. PHOTO: DAVID UN­WIN/FAIRFAX NZ

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

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