EDITORIAL: We need more Smart Houses

Living Resources’ first Smart House opened last week in Guilderland. The single-floor, solar-powered home is designed to give people who have disabilities a place to live independently while having the support built in to help them with such things as opening and closing the blinds or turning on the TV — by themselves.

It’s great that there is now a facility in place to help those with disabilities live more independently, and we think the technology could even be extended to a greater percentage of the population. Specifically, this technology can help our rapidly growing senior citizen population continue to live in their homes.

The Smart House has a lot to offer, and we applaud Sen. Neil Breslin for helping secure the funding to make it a reality. It is designed to allow for ease of movement from one room to the next. The kitchen is equipped with a stovetop that remains cool to the touch, special cookware and self-closing cabinets and drawers. From an iPad, residents can find recipes and step-by-step instructions for making their own meals, or they can switch TV channels.

Basically, anyone who has a physical issue can safely navigate the house without any assistance, but they first need to be a Living Resources client to benefit from the technology in this facility, and even then there is a waitlist. We know making strides in accommodating people with disabilities and mobility issues often start with baby steps, but we are eager to see this Smart House technology available to and even greater percentage of our population.

While this is good, there are many more people with physical issues who don’t have access to this technology in their homes. They also don’t have the financial means to move into an assisted living facility, or they simply don’t want to leave their homes and lose their independence.

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