STATE OF THE ART: Erin Evans and Kris Robinson at the new disability housing.
STATE OF THE ART: Erin Evans and Kris Robinson at the new disability housing. Eliza Goetze

New disability housing is really switched on

IMAGINE arriving home and having your preferred TV show or music switched on as you get in the door.

Imagine getting a knock on the door when you’re still in bed or on the couch, and being able to see who’s there and let them in without getting up.

Sounds convenient – and for a person with a disability, it could be revolutionary.

Bundaberg’s Regional Housing Limited have unveiled state-of-the-art housing for adults with a disability and their elderly parent carers, combining design and automation.

TOUCH OF A BUTTON: One of Bundy’s new disability homes.
TOUCH OF A BUTTON: One of Bundy’s new disability homes. Eliza Goetze

Two years after RHL’s application for State Government funding and in-depth surveys to find out what people with disabilities wanted most out of an ideal home, two of the four units are complete and taking applications.

“We came up with a list of what people said they wanted, and we’ve just about ticked all the boxes – or made it possible for them to be ticked,” RHL business development manager Erin Evans said.

The house is electronically automated through a central system operated via an iPad, which allows the resident to control everything from the lights and blinds to the front door and TV with a tap of the screen.

Other features include adjustable benchtops, wide doorways, sensor-triggered lights, pull-out drawers instead of swing cupboards and heightened power points with larger buttons for people who may be in a wheelchair or have cognitive impairments.

The home also includes an emergency pendant hub and a bed-shaking device hooked up to smoke alarms.

RHL worked with designers as well as local contractors to make the project happen.

“We’re looking forward to showing the community what we’ve created and hopefully inspiring people to consider how smart design and innovation can be used to make a real difference to the lives of people living with a disability,” CEO Brett Hanna said.

“Our innovative approach to disability housing is leading the way in Queensland.

“For someone living with a physical disability this kind of innovation goes beyond mere convenience, providing greater independence, a greater sense of control and safety and ultimately improving a person’s quality of life.”

The funding for the housing provided through the Queensland Government’s Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Initiative means the units qualify as affordable housing.

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said: “Investing in these types of projects gives our older parent carers peace of mind about care options for their son or daughter with disability.”



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