Inclusive Home Unit A First
Author: Mobility2You Date Posted:5 July 2019
What if instead of stairs being the norm, ramps which everyone can use became the accepted everyday access, and stairs were an optional extra.
It’s this sort of inclusive thinking which led Mobility 2 You owner Nicole Dehring-Loveridge to create a purpose-built Inclusive Technology Centre at Erina.
It’s the first privately operated centre of its type in Australia – a one bedroom house fitted out with a full range of equipment and appliances specifically for those with ageing, mobility, and disability challenges.
But this is no clinical showcase; it has been designed as a home, to be aesthetically pleasing and to show visitors what is possible.
“It’s quite exciting, because it allows you to see first-hand how these products would actually look in your own home,” Nicole said.
“It shows that products can be functional and practical, meet clinical needs as well as being aesthetically pleasing, so they don’t have that facility feel.”
That’s important in encouraging people to actually get the products they need, rather than risking falling, for instance, or avoid having a white plastic shower chair in the bathroom.
It’s also part of Mobility 2 You’s focus on recognising everyone’s unique individual requirements and ensuring that their customers’ daily independence, dignity and comfort are paramount.
Nicole said, for instance, a ceiling hoist need not be unsightly, a bed can be fully functional and adjustable like a hospital bed without looking like a hospital bed, and blinds can be fully automated.
“What we want is for people to walk in and say, ‘that is such a nice room’, regardless of their needs,” she said.
Included in the kitchen are cupboards that can move down to bench level and return as required, stone kitchen benchtops that can be lowered to suit someone in a wheelchair or raised for someone standing. In the bathroom,
Caroma has a specific aged care range including sensor taps, and there are metal shower chairs that fold away attractively, and nicely designed rails.
Even lighting, Nicole said, could be worked remotely in the home, with no need for the constant white light of a hospital environment or, at the other end of the spectrum, dull light.
“Some of these products you just won’t see anywhere else,” Nicole said.
“We are really passionate that everyone should feel included. “It’s such a key factor for someone who doesn’t have some of the abilities which are often taken for granted in designing a house.
“So whether you need to modify your existing house, are downsizing, moving into a retirement village, or building and want to be proactive in thinking about what you may need in the future, this will allow you to see what is possible.”
Physiotherapists and occupational therapists are bringing clients to the centre, and it would be open 10am-2pm Monday-Friday for individuals to visit, or by appointment.
The new Erina home is at 247 Central Coast Hwy, just around the corner from the Mobility 2 You shop at 2/12 Aston Rd, which also boasts a warehouse full of goods, including lift chairs, toilet aids, scooters, wheelchairs, walking aids, and reach and grip aids.
To find out more, phone (02) 4367 5751 or go to mobility2you.com.au.