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Smart Home Assistants: Streamlining Life for NDIS Participants

We all strive to live comfortably and safely at home. However, for participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), achieving this can be more challenging. Thankfully, advances in technology are helping to make life safer and more comfortable a reality.

Smart devices like the video camera doorbell are making tangible differences in the lives of NDIS participants. They provide the dual benefits of convenience and safety in a single device. But the true game changer is a fully integrated system with a smart home assistants, where the benefits are multiplied. 

Big companies like Google, Amazon and Apple are driving this innovation. These systems are more than just cool tech; they’re assistive technology, making homes more empowering and accessible places to live. 

We’ll explore how these smart home assistants simplify everyday tasks for NDIS participants. They are assisting with everything from turning on lights and adjusting the air conditioner to sourcing information and staying in touch with family and friends. They are opening up new possibilities for independence and comfort at home.

We’ve installed smart home assistants in many homes across Brisbane and Sth East Qld. The way they simplify everyday tasks is truly inspiring as they remove the daily challenges and barriers that shouldn’t be obstacles. Let’s explore these benefits in greater detail.

Smart home assistants stepping in to help NDIS participants

Technology will never replace the care and compassion humans provide. However, for everyday tasks such as opening the door and turning off the lights, a smart home assistant offers a helping hand, especially for individuals with disabilities. Available 24/7, these virtual assistants are significantly reducing the reliance on others for basic tasks, delivering a greater sense of independence and autonomy.

We’ve had the privilege of installing smart assistant systems into the homes of many NDIS participants. Let’s look at the benefits realised with this installation. 

The power of the smart home assistant to control the home through voice or a simple touch

For those with mobility impairments or manual dexterity challenges, the simple task of answering the door or switching lights on and off, is not always so simple. A smart home assistant can be commanded to control lighting, adjust climate settings and manage the front door without the need for manual interaction. Now, just a voice command or the touch of a button takes care of these tasks.

voice activated smart home assistant set up by smarter homes australia in a living room in brisbane

Managing schedule and routines for the NDIS participant

Smart assistants are invaluable tools for managing daily routines. These devices can provide audible reminders for medication schedules, appointments, and other essential tasks, helping to structure the day and ensure no critical activities for an NDIS participant are missed or forgotten.

Peace of mind for the NDIS participant and carers

In emergency situations, a smart home assistant becomes a vital connection to the outside world, offering a hands-free way to summon help. By linking all your smart home devices with a smart home assistant as the single hub, safety measures are significantly improved. During emergencies, these systems can automatically initiate actions like opening doors for emergency personnel or notifying family members about incidents, such as falls.

For more information on digital door locks and the assistance they provide, refer to our article – Smart Door Locks for NDIS Participants. 

The smart home assistant facilitates social connection for the NDIS participant isolated at home

Isolation can be a significant issue for those with limited mobility, but smart assistants can bridge this gap by facilitating access to a world of digital entertainment and ease of communication. From streaming music and audiobooks to initiating phone or video calls, these devices help maintain social connections and mental engagement. 

For individuals with visual impairments, smart assistants deliver information on a more accessible interface. They can relay information in an audible format like the daily news, weather updates, and assist with online shopping.

In essence, a smart home assistant can transform a living space into a more supportive, empowering environment, enabling individuals with disabilities to navigate their daily lives with greater ease and confidence.

The impact of smart assistants on specific NDIS participants

man in a wheelchair with dog on his lap, living at home independently with the help of assistive technology set up by smarter homes australia

Mobility Impaired: 

  • For those in a wheelchair or severely limited in their mobility find great freedom with the installation of a smart home assistant. The ability to control their environment through voice commands or a simplified app can significantly reduce the physical strain and increase independence, making tasks like turning on lights, adjusting the temperature, and opening doors much more accessible.

 

Visually Impaired: 

  • Individuals who are blind or have low vision can greatly benefit from the auditory feedback and voice control features of smart home assistants. These devices can read out text, describe the weather, and assist in navigating various online services without the need for visual cues, enhancing accessibility and autonomy in daily tasks. The advantages of using a smartwatch are amplified when you can customise notifications to vibrate for various alerts. Whether it’s a visitor at the door, someone entering the residential area, a reminder to take medication, or an upcoming appointment, nearly any event that requires notification or scheduling can trigger a vibrating alert on the smartwatch, keeping you informed without missing a beat.

 

Hearing Impaired:

  • For those with hearing impairments, especially in cases where the impairment is not complete, smart home assistants that provide visual feedback or can be controlled via text commands can offer an alternative means of interaction with technology and their environment. This can include receiving visual alerts for doorbells, alarms, or other notifications that might otherwise be missed just as a smartwatch proves invaluable for those with visual impairments, individuals with hearing impairments can equally benefit from the features offered by a smart assistant integrated into a smartwatch.


Cognitive and Neurological Disabilities:

  • Individuals with conditions such as autism, dementia, ADHD, or intellectual disabilities might find smart home assistants useful for creating structured routines through reminders and alarms. These devices can help manage time, remember important tasks, and reduce the cognitive load of daily planning and organisation.

 

How the smart home assistant supports the NDIS participants’ caregiver

As we know, there is no substitute for human care but a smart home assistant can significantly reduce the physical and mental burden on carers. By relieving them of some daily tasks, their time can be freed up to focus on more attentive, personalised, and effective care. These are some of the many ways we’ve seen this in action.

  • Automated Reminders: Set up reminders for medication schedules, appointments, and other critical care tasks to ensure they are never missed.
  • Convenient Entry: Enter and exit the home easily with your own provided access on the digital door lock.
  • Environmental Control: Easily adjust lighting, temperature, and other environmental factors to ensure comfort and safety for the person under their care. Read about our smart air conditioning installation options.
  • Emergency Assistance: Quickly call for help or send alerts to a list of designated contacts, ensuring prompt assistance.
  • Hands-Free Communication: Use voice commands to make calls or send messages, keeping hands free for other caregiving tasks.
  • Information Access: Quickly retrieve health information, caregiving tips, or contact healthcare providers without having to manually search.
  • Entertainment and Engagement: Play music or audiobooks for their patient, providing entertainment and enhancing their quality of life.
  • Monitoring and Security: Keep an eye on the person through smart cameras or sensors, ensuring their safety even when the carer is in another room or out of the house altogether.
  • Routine Scheduling: Create and maintain a structured daily routine that can help bring stability and predictability to the patient’s life.


How does the smart home system integration work?

The best way to explain the operation of the smart home system is with a diagram. At the top level we have the smart system or can also be considered the operating system. The three big players in the space are Google Home, Apple Home and Alexa. Essentially you download the app of choice and connect all your compatible smart devices to it. This is your operating app and wherever it’s downloaded to (your phone, computer, smart watch, tablet, TV), you now use this as the central control, managing everything from this single interface.

For the big picture explanation, check out the diagram.

smart home assistant system flow chart diagram

The Smarter Homes Australia commitment to enhancing lives of NDIS participants 

At Smarter Homes Australia, we’re committed to leveraging smart home technology to enhance the lives of NDIS participants, promoting autonomy and safety within their own homes. We’ve witnessed the significant benefits that assistive technology, such as smart home assistants, can provide. 

Our team is ready to assist you in choosing the right smart home assistant that aligns with your home environment, individual requirements, and current devices, if any. Our goal is to understand your specific needs and develop an affordable solution designed especially for you. 

Contact us to schedule your free quote and take the first step towards a more accessible, secure, and independent living environment for you or your person under care. 

smarter homes australia installation team in brisbane

Smart home assistants for NDIS participants FAQs

  • Do you work with NDIS participants?

Yes we do, all the time. Refer to our specific guide to NDIS participants for more information.

  • Does a Home Assistant integrate with all of my assistive living technology?

This will depend on the products you currently have installed and the type of home assistant you select. Google Home has been the best in our experience and integrates with the majority of assistive living technologies, whereas Apple Homekit can be an excellent choice but has a lot less options when it comes to integration.

  • Will the NDIS cover my Assistive Living and Home Assistant installations?

This is a question best suited for your Plan Manager, Support Coordinator or OT. NDIS plans can significantly differ person to person and we cannot state whether or not these technologies will be covered directly by the NDIS.

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