EASIE Living Centre expands services
A revamp and expansion of Palmerston North’s EASIE Living and Demonstration Centre on Main Street will be revealed at an open day on the premises on Saturday.
The centre is a community-based facility offering advice, equipment, services, information and education to help improve the lives of people in the community who are disabled or ageing.
The centre officially opened in February 2016, operating six days a week, it features a fully accessible smart home where people can explore a range of low- and hightech options that makes living easier. Since that time the Outreach Service was launched in May, providing a mobile service across the MidCentral region as well as Whanganui and Wairarapa, visiting communities, lifestyle villages and other groups and organisations.
This month the centre has taken another significant step forward with the revamp and expansion of its retail services.
General manager Scott Ambridge says the centre is another development by Enable New Zealand, an organisation with more than 40 years’ experience in providing services to the health and disability sector.
‘‘In the year since the centre opened we have built a very strong regional profile through providing a range of services and have been very successful through that ongoing engagement.’’
Building on that and expanding into retail services was a logical step, Ambridge says.
‘‘We wanted to create a highstreet style retail experience and we see it as complementing our other services. We have been able to provide advice on the types of equipment and modifications required to keep people in their own homes so it makes sense that we can now offer these products for sale.
‘‘The EASIE Living Centre is a fantastic bricks and mortar place that people can come to for the services and support we provide. We can also steer people in the right direction for any other help they may need.’’
The new look retail area complements the other areas in the centre – namely the demonstration and smart home.
‘‘We see these areas as being very welcoming and organised. People can come in and look around at their own pace. We are offering a quite extensive range of products and also different pricing options within that range.’’
Using a specialist shop fit-out company will ensure maximum use and impact is made of the space available.
‘‘This will ensure that when people walk into the centre they can immediately see what is on offer across the whole range of products. People can take their time looking through the shop and demonstration home and try out some of the products,’’ says Ambridge.
The innovative accessible smart home will provide visitors with a kinesthetic and tactile experience, where they can test the low- and hitech living options.
‘‘The Ministry of Social Development’s Positive Ageing Strategy recognises that the vast majority of older people prefer to live independently in their own homes. Our accessible smart home comprises living room, study, bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom, and features the latest innovations – appliances, cabinetry, ergonomically designed furniture, lighting and non-slip flooring.’’
The retail section has an extensive range of mobility scooters that people can try out in and around their own homes. Centre staff will also provide help with funding applications.
‘‘We want to make the whole experience as seamless and painless as possible.’’
A conference room within the EASIE Living and Demonstration Centre allows the team to coordinate a variety of education and training programmes and workshops to professional and community groups.
Enable New Zealand is the largest provider of support services across the rehabilitation and health sector for the provision of equipment, housing and vehicle modifications. Regional and national contracts are held with the Ministry of Health, ACC and District Health Boards.
The centre has revamped and expanded its retail services and offers a wide range of products.
Palmerston North’s EASIE Living and Demonstration Centre, at585Main St, and its Outreach Service vehicle.