Well, it was inevitable right, there’s so much great technology out there to help with our accessible and adapted home, I could probably write four or five posts on the subject, but for now I shall put together a Part 2, following up on my first post about Smart Tech for the home.
I had a few messages after the last post with suggestions for other excellent technology, so let’s take a look!
Robot Vacuum Cleaners
I really want one of these! We have a very old and heavy vacuum cleaner which Mr WCH struggles to use due to the size and weight of it. There’s nothing wrong with it and it was quite expensive when we got it so I’m loathe to get rid of it but we do want something a little more convenient for the small cupboard it’s squashed into.
I’d love a self-propelling vacuum cleaner, like an iRobot Roomba (there are lots of brands available that offer similar products). In most cases these cleaners can be controlled by an App from your phone, even if you’re not in, so that’s a real bonus – you can come home to a clean house! You can get reports on the cleaning performed and make adjustments as you need to.
They aren’t cheap of course, but having a product like this will really help someone using a wheelchair, or with mobility issues, or visual issues, you’ll be able to keep a lovely clean home with the touch of a button, or by connecting to Siri or a smart speaker. It couldn’t be any easier!
Smart Phone Charging
If you’ve ever struggled to plug your phone in to charge in the dark, or when the cable doesn’t quite stretch far enough, or if you have tremors or dexterity issues that means you struggle to plug the phone in, then smart phone charging is a great idea for you.
Smart charging can be anything from a simple pad for your bedside table (also very useful if your phone rings overnight, you don’t have to struggle to unplug it to answer!) – to smart home accessories and furniture with wireless charging capability built in.
Ikea have a range of simple pads and lamps with charging capability – which are lovely Scandi Style of course and aren’t too expensive. Whilst researching this post I found a fabulous side table from Furniture Village which you just plonk your phone on and it’s charging away without plugging you struggle to plug the charger in.
All of these would look great in an #inclusivechic home wouldn’t they!
When I was young there was always a battle in my house over the temperature of the radiators in the flat we lived in. They weren’t thermostatic ones, inevitably the knobs got stuck and we couldn’t turn them, to switch them on or off. They ended being cold or dangerous to the touch for fear of burning your hand. Dad used to turn the radiator on, Mum used to switch them off and open the windows.
In our house now, to turn the heating on outside the usual schedule, Mr WCH would need to position himself in the bathroom so he can open the airing cupboard, try to stand up and then reach over the pile of towels to push the button.
If we had a smart heating system he wouldn’t have to try and stand, because with systems such as Hive or Nest you can control the heating via your phone, with Alexa or Google or other smart speaker. Mr WCH wouldn’t have to put himself in danger to switch the heating on.
There are benefits to those with mobility issues or visual issues, to be able to control the system via a voice control is clearly the way forward! You can be away on holiday and set the heating to come on just as your flight lands so you’re toasty when you get home.
Hive also have a variety of panels to put on the wall which look great, lots of different colours. Make a statement! Also helpful for people with cognitive or visual issues to find on the wall.
Mr WCH has always wanted a ride on mower, but there’s no way our garden is big enough (maybe if we win the lottery one day we’ll have a big house with huge lawn!) and we actually get a guy in every couple of weeks to mow the loan, but otherwise a robotic lawnmower might be the answer.
Similar to the vacuum cleaners above they go off on their own way, scope out the size and shape of the garden and can even adjust the height of the cut once the lawn is at the right length. You can control via an app, of course and sit there drinking a cold glass of something while the lawnmower does the hard work.
There are lots of brands that do them, and they vary in price according to size of lawn and terrain so there’s bound to be one to meet your needs. They aren’t cheap, I’ll be honest – but if you take out fees for a gardener you’ll be evens in no time.
Pulling curtains across, especially if they are long floor length ones can be a challenge for those in a wheelchair, on crutches, or generally struggle with strength – so electric blinds are a great idea. I’ve seen a couple of instagram friends with electric blinds and they are so cool! They can be operated via a remote control although I’m sure there’s an app out there somewhere!
Some blinds when they are up, are almost invisible and great for long window expanses like a wall of glass looking out to the garden. Curtains would be way too tricky on a long expanse and too heavy to pull.
These blinds are in the home of Sandra, from Wheely Love Living and are so easy to operate and offer protection from the sun and nosey neighbours. What’s not to love?!
Do you use any other smart tech that we haven’t touched on yet? What do you use that helps with your accessibility needs? Let me know in the comments!