AQA

A historical perspective

07.11.21 01:51 PM By Dan
In part three of our home automation series, community member John Osmond describes the modifications he got done when he arrived home from rehab, ten years ago. 
To give you context for the automation that I’ve been able to install in our home, I will describe my disability, and the time that it happened.

I fell off a ladder whilst at work in 2010. The timing is important because automation has rapidly changed from that time. I sustained an incomplete spinal cord injury at C3-C4 and all the ancillary “benefits”. 

Due to the fact that my accident occurred at work, I was covered comprehensively by Worksafe, which is administered by the CIP group within TAC.

The first step was to have an assessment by a Physio and Occupational Therapist, to see what was necessary, with the view to maximise my independence, and to minimise carer hours and cost.

The modifications were done in two stages. The first stage was what was necessary for me to come home from Royal Talbot. In my case, this was reasonably minimal - we’d already renovated our house to accommodate my mother-in-law who was in a wheelchair. The house is single level, with ramps at the rear to access the garden. 

The items done here were to install an overhead hoist and track in the bedroom, rear doors that were automated (much to the appreciation of my dog, who has learnt how to trigger them for ease of access), and widened the necessary doors.
John can control the radio, TV, Foxtel, and ceiling lights from his phone or tablet.
The second stage came after we’d been living in the house for approximately 6-9 months. This involved modifications to the ensuite, to allow access for my commode, etc. This was necessary to prevent the need for a nudie run up the hallway to the other bedroom.

The items that I have had automation to assist are as follows:
  • Front pedestrian gate
  • Front driveway gate
  • Side gate separating front yard and backyard in the driveway
  • Lights in all the rooms that I access
  • Heating and cooling
  • Audio controls such as TV, Radio, Foxtel etc. in both the living area and my bedroom. I control all these items from my iPad or iPhone

The other thing that I’ve done is to have a wirelessly controlled leg bag opener imported from the USA, at a reasonable cost of approximately $500. This means that I do not need a carer at all to empty my leg bag.

Because of the advancement in automation with technology like Google Home, things would be different and cheaper these days.

Author note: John Osmond has been living with a C3-C4 spinal cord injury since 2010.

AQA staff Emma O'Brien and Mark Hanson get you up to speed on the basics of home automation.