Recognition for disability show home
Palmerston North’s recently opened Easie Living and Demonstration Centre has received its first accolade within only a few months of opening.
At the recent Federation of Disability Information Centres annual conference, the Main St Easie Living Centre run by Enable New Zealand, was awarded Centre of the Year.
The judging committee was impressed by its innovative approach to providing services to the disabled and the ageing population, as well as with the huge public interest the centre has generated in just a short space of time.
First of its kind in the country, the aim of the Easie Living Centre occupying the Main St frontage of the former RSA building, is to make it easier for people with disabilities to remain in their homes.
The specially kitted out rooms feature appliances, furniture, equipment, and smart electronic systems which include elevating benches and cupboards that slide up and down the wall.
Louise Williams, assisted by her occupational therapist and assessor, Craig Gordon, is one of many the centre has already helped.
Louise and Craig have spent time at the centre trying out a variety of home modification options that would allow Louise to remain independent.
The centre’s demonstration kitchen gave Louise the opportunity to test the innovations, and check that her wheelchair would fit under the bench. She was impressed with the range of equipment available and the thoughtful service she received.
It helped her feel involved in the process as well as feel happy and confident about the outcome.
Being able to trial the options was invaluable for Craig too. ‘‘This facility will allow me to trial ideas with clients during assessments and ensure modifications are tailored to clients’ individual needs,’’ he says.
Scott Ambridge, Enable New Zealand’s general manager says receiving the award was ‘‘really encouraging’’.
‘‘Our aim in developing this centre was to enable independence within the community, and it is fantastic to see outcomes like this becoming more frequent.’’
The Easie Living Centre at 585 Main St, is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and Saturday from 10am to 3pm.
Louise Williams and Craig Gordon testing out the bench in Easie Living’s demonstration kitchen.