michael alexander

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS -

When you are an able-bod­ied cit­i­zen who can stand, walk and move, the chances are you don’t think twice about get­ting up to close the cur­tains, wash your hands or pull a mug from the kitchen cup­board.

But for peo­ple who are con­fined to a wheel­chair or have lim­ited mo­bil­ity, many oth­er­wise sim­ple ev­ery­day tasks could be dif­fi­cult or nigh impossible.

That’s where the pi­o­neer­ing Blackwood House de­sign comes in where the be­spoke smart tech­nol­ogy care sys­tem Clev­erCogs en­ables cus­tomers to open blinds, switch on TVs, or­der shop­ping, or keep in touch with fam­ily, friends and car­ers through touch­screen de­vices.

Cru­cially it also al­lows res­i­dents to re­main as in­de­pen­dent as pos­si­ble in their own homes.

I’d never sat in a wheel­chair be­fore, let alone ma­noeu­vred my­self through a house in one.

But yes­ter­day I was given the op­por­tu­nity to road test the new Blackwood House in a £3,000 sports wheel­chair which, I was re­li­ably in­formed, could “turn on a six­pence”.

Once I had mas­tered move­ment, and feel­ing a bit like a wheel­chair basketball player, I set off on a jour­ney of ex­plo­ration through the ground floor prop­erty.

The hall and door­ways have been de­signed with wheel­chairs in mind, giv­ing just the right space to turn.

Slid­ing doors be­tween rooms are con­trolled by the touch of a but­ton at wheel­chair height, while in the bed­room the sim­ple touch of an iPad opened and closed the au­to­matic black-out blinds.

The ad­join­ing toi­let and shower room – also ac­cessed through an au­to­mated slid­ing door – was spa­cious with a key fea­ture be­ing the sink that could be low­ered or even moved to the side to ac­com­mo­date spe­cific wheel­chair needs.

High­lights in the kitchen were the mov­able fit­tings, the rise and fall units, and the much-an­tic­i­pated Bromp­ton Wash­scape ma­chine that not only washes and dries, but also irons laundry.

Now that sounds like it could be a wel­come ad­di­tion to any home.

I was given the op­por­tu­nity to road test the new Blackwood House in a £3,000 sports wheel­chair

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