Living Resources Smart Homes will be designed to serve people with disabilities, with a focus on allowing people to live independently and avoid nursing home care. These homes will be appropriate for all individuals regardless of their cognitive and/or physical capabilities. This progressive model being designed by Living Resources is completely original and could serve as a universal housing model for the disabled and elderly populations. All homes will be built based on 3 principles:
- Universally accessible design for independence
- “Green energy” design for efficiency
- Technologically prepared system integration as an aid to independence
Each house will accommodate up to 6 people and will use smart house design elements, which will maximize opportunities for residents to independently access all elements of the home. In addition, Living Resources will minimize its carbon footprint though energy efficiency and conservation in both the construction and operation of the home. There is much crossover between these two goals. Some of the highlights include:
- Open floor plan for accessibility and natural lighting
- Single level home
- Bathrooms with turnaround and transfer space
- Kitchen cabinets with pull out shelves and lazy Susan’s
- Easy grasp knobs or pulls
- Light switches at 42” rather than 48”
- Electrical outlets at 18” rather than 12”
- Home orientation to take advantage of passive solar
- Reinforced truces to be used for track system,
or later installation of track systems in home.
- 36” wide doors
- Automatic lighting in designated area’s
Developing this type of housing, one that provides high-quality care and lifetime placement, is a cost-effective approach to meeting the challenges of providing accessible housing to people who require long-term ·care. There is no doubt that keeping people in their homes is a less-costly alternative to nursing home care. As the individuals we serve experience age related disabilities or an acute physical conditions, in the absence of having an opening in one of our existing barrier free homes, our options are to retrofit their existing home to address the need or placement in a nursing home facility. This provides a band aid, not a solution. Even after costly renovations, the individual will ultimately need to move. Well planned, energy-efficient, new construction is the solution.
At present, Living Resources has received a legislative grant to build our first Smart Home and we are working with a design builder to incorporate our vision into a welcoming home for the individuals who will be living there.