Society has always consisted of people who are for one reason or another more able than others. This might be down to education, parenting or socio-economic factors or it may be down to physical disabilities or mental health problems that hinder the progress of some to follow an easier path through life.
Disability, ageing and illness often leave people with the inability to do those things that many people don’t even need to think about – and this can become no more apparent in the home.
Help is at hand however in the form of modern technology through home automation. Here are some of the ways in which home automation can make a huge difference to some people’s lives.
Electric Lighting, Heating and Media Control
Inside the conventional home, there are a multitude of systems that require separate switches, remote handsets, knobs, dials, meters and thermostats.
With the installation of clever home automation technology, it’s possible to combine much of the functionality into one ‘hub’ which can be used to control some or all of these from one unit. They can also allow for timed settings and voice activation. For example, if you wanted your lights to come on gradually at certain times of day, even when you were out, the controls can allow you to do so.
Some technology also allows you to control your technology remotely via smartphone applications, allowing you to override the normal heating settings so that the home can be warm when you return home – useful when the weather changes and the temperature drops unexpectedly.
Automated Blinds and Electric Curtain Rails
For those confined to wheelchairs or who have specific mobility problems, automating things like curtains and blinds can be a godsend. Like electronic lighting and heating systems, blinds and curtains can be programmed to open and close at specific times of the day, either to a full close or open, or to specific positions that take into account the sun’s path throughout the day, from dawn until dusk.
Motorised Gates and Automated Garage Doors
For those who drive, automated garage doors and motorised gates have obvious benefits too. Without the need to exit the vehicle, these mechanical installations can be programmed to open when required using an in-vehicle control system.
The other benefit of automating garage doors and gates to a home is that they can remain secure when closed, without the need for keys and bolts, which to a potential burglar, could be seen as a weak point though which they could gain access to a property.
Living Made Easy from the Disability Living Foundation (DLF) – Offers practical advice and guidance for disabled people, the elderly and those struggling with mobility focussing on aspects of living such as communication, the house and home, leisure, personal care, children and parenting and mobility.
Age UK (Formerly Help the Aged) – All manner of help and support for older people.
Queen Elizabeth Foundation for Disabled People – The organisation works with people living with physical and learning disabilities and those who have acquired brain injury, helping them to gain new skills focussed on independent living.
Disability Rights UK – Offers a range of advice and support throughout the UK.
Local Government – one of the first ports of call for advice for anyone who needs help financially or otherwise at home is the local council. They can advice on any funding, grants or benefit entitlements that a person with a particular set of circumstances has.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) – The CAB is a free service that relies on the support of volunteers to offer practical advice, support and guidance on a whole range of issues and is a great starting point for those with specific problems which the CAB and signpost to other relevant organisations, with locally or nationally.
About UsWe are a UK organisation promoting the security and safety benefits of home automation and smart home technology. Read more about our stated aims here.
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