Recog­ni­tion for dis­abil­ity show home

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

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.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Louise Wil­liams and Craig Gor­don test­ing out the bench in Easie Liv­ing’s demon­stra­tion kitchen.

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