EASIE Liv­ing Cen­tre ex­pands ser­vices

The Tribune (NZ) - - EASIE LIVING CENTRE -

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.

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