The June issue of the national publication AARP Bulletin features an article highlighting a smart technology collaboration led by Oak Hill, a Hartford-based disability services nonprofit, that aims to make life easier for a rapidly-growing aging population.
The organization’s New England Assistive Technology (NEAT) Center connects people with the latest assistive technology, helping them effectively perform many tasks independently, overcome obstacles, and enhance their quality of life. The initiative is of particular interest to individuals preferring to stay in their homes as they age, and that drew the attention of AARP Connecticut, which provided grant funding support to spread awareness and use of smart technology for the home.
The showpiece of Oak Hill’s innovation is the Smart Home on Wheels, which provides a glimpse of the potential of such technologies – and is seen at events and occasions across the state. It is a mobile demonstration center where individuals and groups can learn more about how technology can support independent living. Next sighting: an Open House on June 28, 10 am – 12 noon, at The NEAT Center, 33 Coventry Street, in Hartford. The tour is free; no registration is required.
New smart home tools can provide a unique level of support and access to the world for people with disabilities and those 50 and over, and they can be the lifeline that helps someone remain in their home, or age in place. The assistive technologies can be used to dramatically increase one’s independence and success in their quest to live at home as long as possible. This includes in communication, learning, productivity, mobility, and independence. Oak Hill is Connecticut’s largest private provider of services to people with disabilities.
At The NEAT Center at Oak Hill, individuals can learn first-hand about the latest technologies, products, equipment and services that assist people with day-to-day activities that they have trouble doing themselves, either because of a disability or the effects of aging.
AARP provided financial support and grant funding for a lending library of devices that provides people with an opportunity to borrow some of the equipment to test at home before purchasing. Smart technology is described as “a game changer” for America’s aging population. Tia Murphy, AARP Connecticut’s state president, told AARP Bulletin that “by test-driving the equipment and seeing how it can make life easier, consumers will be comfortable using the technology.”
More information is available at https://assistivetechnology.oakhillct.org/show-the-smart-home-on-wheels/ or 860.242.2274.