Monarch receives grant for smart home technology to help improve lives of people with disabilities in Craven, Jones and Pamlico counties
Many people take simple daily tasks like turning lights on and off or remembering to take medication for granted, but for some people with disabilities these routine duties can be difficult. With the help of a grant, Monarch will fund important new technology initiatives for people with disabilities in Craven, Jones and Pamlico counties to enable them to live more independently in residential settings.
The Board of Directors of the Harold H. Bate Foundation, Inc. awarded Monarch $17,000 to implement smart home technology that will help enhance independence, home safety and sustainable living opportunities for 44 residents in several Monarch group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This project is an example of how Monarch meets its mission to support, educate and empower people with disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders to choose and achieve what is important to them.
For many people living with disabilities, some seemingly simple daily activities like turning lights on and off, preparing a meal or taking a shower requires assistance from another person. With the use of residential assistive technology, the people Monarch supports in group home settings can manage more of their own activities of daily living. The new assistive equipment includes wireless technology and accessible adaptations that are customized to the needs, abilities and personal goals of individual residents. The technology includes things like:
• Motion-sensor kitchen and bathroom faucets and temperature-regulated shower faucets to provide for easier, safer washing and self-care.
• Environmental controls that enable individuals to independently operate side and overhead lights, TVs, and doors via mobile device (iPad), voice-activation, or wearable pendant sensor.
• Motion-sensor lights that come on automatically as people enter and leave hallways and rooms to ensure safe passage.
• Automated medication dispensers with timers and alarms to alert when it is time for an individual to take his/her medication, and that can notify staff if medication is not taken.
• Home sensors to notify staff and caregivers should someone fall, leave the premises, or experience an emergency.
• Induction stoves in kitchens that cool immediately when a pot is removed from the unit, allowing for safer, autonomous cooking experiences.
Research has consistently shown increased independence creates a better quality of life for people with disabilities. Monarch is elated the Harold H. Bate Foundation approved a grant to support this important, life-altering initiative.
“Technology empowers people and gives a new sense of independence and confidence,” explained Blake Martin, chief development officer at Monarch. “Our goal is to provide the people we support with the most current technology to enhance their lives as well as to improve our ability to provide services and treatment. We appreciate the Bate Foundation’s continued support to help us improve so many lives of the people we support.”
The investment made by the Harold H. Bate Foundation is one of several contributions from local foundations and individual donors to support the $90,000 Smart Home Technology project.
Established in 1958, Monarch is a not-for-profit organization that provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges. The agency is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and certified by The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as a Critical Access Behavioral Health Agency (CABHA). Monarch operates The Arc of Stanly County, which is a chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn more about how Monarch provides support, please call (866) 272-7826 or visit www.MonarchNC.org.
Pictured above: Joanne Vincent, resident of one of the Monarch homes where the technology is currently installed, shows how she can control doors, lights and even the thermostat (also pictured above) with the use of new smart home technology funded by the Harold H. Bate Foundation.