„Getting annoyed with my disability would be a waste of time” – said the world-famous physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking. A very positive and inspiring sentence for others, but confronted with the everyday challenges faced by disabled people, it turns out that… sometimes easier said than done.
According to the World Health Organization data, currently over 1 billion people in the world – 15% of the population – live with various disabilities. Among them, there are the elderly, struggling with the worsening health conditions, as well as young, talented and energetic individuals, who for different reasons – at some stage of life – got confined to bed. A total of 75 million people have to use a wheelchair every day due to their physical disability. How do they deal with it? What hurts them the most? Is there a cure for that?
Each of us needs the support of family and friends, each of us wants to be in constant contact with the others, but … to the same extent, each of us also needs a sense of independence and autonomy. What hurts wheelchair users the most is the total dependence on others. The wheelchair has numerous limitations, which healthy people – those without disabilities – often do not realize. How to open a window? How to turn on the light when standard switches are too high? How to check through the viewfinder who’s behind the door? How to…? The list of “impossible to do” things is very long. In reality, every disabled person needs a family helper, who can be controlled like a pilot to meet their needs. This lack of independence, relying on others and the need to constantly ask for help cause enormous frustration and an internal scream of a child ‘I want to do it myself!’.
It turns out, however, that there are solutions which can change lives and open a window to a new, better future for all disabled people. New technologies and widely available smart home systems guarantee the independence they desire and the possibility of full control over what, where, when and how is happening in their home – they provide peace, comfort and security.
How FIBARO smart home can help people with disabilities
FIBARO smart home reliably cares for peace, comfort and safety of its residents. It is a place where various devices communicate with each other, thanks to which you can easily control – with a single button, gesture or word – lighting, blinds, temperature, alarm, monitoring, watering system, and home electronics & appliances. The trouble-free cooperation of all FIBARO elements gives you full control and freedom to create solutions that meet the diverse needs of all household members.
How can it help people with disabilities? Here are some of the most interesting features.
Full control with one click
Just like the “remote” to perform certain tasks for people with disabilities are usually their carers, so in a smart home, such a role can be played by a simple application. Thanks to it, it is possible to manage the entire house only with a smartphone in hand. Light switches too high? Unable to open the window? Difficult access to some equipment and devices at home? The light left before sleeping in the other room? No problem! Just turn on the FIBARO Home Center App and from any place in the apartment, with one click, perform any action – turn off the light, close the blinds, open smart windows, turn on the TV or change the temperature in the room.
The big advantage of a smart home is that in addition to individual activities, it can also perform a whole range of various actions that we can define by ourselves. In the morning, as the sun rises, the blinds, for example, can automatically raise and silent music can wake us up. In the evening, instead of turning off all the lights in the rooms, turning off the equipment, closing doors, shutters and reducing the temperature, we can also “make it happen” with just one click. It is an exceptional convenience and comfort of a sense of independence for disabled people, who normally would need a lot of time and someone’s involvement to perform such activities.
Besides the application, we can also control the smart home using an intelligent button or a small, handy remote control – each of them can be assigned specific functions. The Button next to bed will always be at hand before bedtime to “turn off” the whole house, and you can always have the KeyFob remote control with you when leaving the house to: turn off all the lights, turn off the TV and turn on the alarm.
Words have great power
Extremely popular nowadays are voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Their presence is also very useful for people with disabilities.
The assistants cooperate with FIBARO smart solutions, thanks to which we gain one more way of control over the house – even if a smartphone or an intelligent remote control get lost somewhere, just a few words are enough for our smart home to turn them into deeds.
Everything happens by itself
The invaluable plus of a smart home is that many things there can happen completely automatically. The householder does not have to do anything himself, remember about anything – setting up the previously defined and necessary scenarios – make everything happen by itself.
Smart lighting can be the greatest facilitation for people with disabilities. The bathroom light that turns on automatically when you open the door and turns off when you leave is appreciated by all smart home users, but for people with reduced mobility it takes on a new meaning. Just like the superpower of the smart Motion Sensor, which ensures that the light always follows your movement in a dark corridor.
A great convenience is also the automatic closing of the apartment when we leave it, a warm welcome when we come back – with appropriate lighting, temperature and favorite music – or automatic closing of windows when it starts to rain.
Safety and security above all
Comfort, convenience, a sense of independence and control, are extremely important, but no less important are security issues. The FIBARO smart home constantly watches and protects users against all threats, which is particularly important for people with disabilities, who alone at home could not always react quickly enough.
Every day, a sense of security and peace can be provided by:
– Flood Sensor, which combined with an electric solenoid valve automatically cuts off the water, protecting the house and neighbors from flooding,
– Smoke Sensor and CO Sensor, which inform immediately about detection of even slightly exceeded standards, automatically call for help,
– Door / Window Sensor, which triggers an alarm and sends notification as soon as it detects unwanted third party activity,
– FIBARO Intercom, thanks to which reaching the viewfinder to check who is behind the door is no longer a problem – all you need is a telephone and an application that allows you to view guests and open the door remotely, if you still need some time to prepare.
To make life better
When we are healthy, strong and fit, it is often difficult for us to see the world from a different perspective and understand the needs and barriers that people with disabilities have to face every day. Today, there is no doubt that smart home solutions are like reaching out a helping hand to them – they destroy obstacles and give the desired sense of autonomy, independence from others and control over everyday life. It should be emphasized that this is also a great help for the caregivers. The full range of smart home options means that they can peacefully and practically non-invasively – from a distance – support, watch and care for loved ones.
The presented functionalities are just examples of smart home possibilities. In fact – it’s your home, your imagination. Today, there are basically no things that are impossible to accomplish. It is best to meet directly with a certified FIBARO installer who will visit the house / flat, ask for all needs and offer the best options for their implementation.
Smart home solutions are no longer an unreal, distant dream – they are at our fingertips. Many people still perceive them as an excessive comfort and unnecessary gadget, but … What is a whim for some, for disabled people can be a real, long-awaited pass to a new, better life.