A Hero’s Fight for Independence: Meet Charles

 

Happy (3)A Life of Adventure

From jumping out of planes to ministering to soldiers who are dealing with the realities of war, Reverend Charles Pittman has lived a life characterized by courage and devotion.

Now retired from being a United Methodist minister, Charles received his first church appointment at only 19 years old. During his 48 years of ministry, he also served on active duty as an Army chaplain in Ethiopia and Thailand. Upon returning to the United States, he served in the Alabama-West Florida Conference as an ordained minister.

Later in life, Charles was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which the VA says is a direct result of spinal trauma during his time in the military. Due to the damage to his spinal cord, he has limited mobility. Now a resident of Brooks-Howell Home, Charles receives occupational therapy (OT) as part of his support needs. The OT Assistant who works with Charles at Brooks-Howell realized that Charles’ support needs could be best addressed by a combination of natural supports, assistive technology, and community relationships.

Connecting with Support

Accustomed to fighting for freedom, Charles was determined not to let his disability take his own independence. He longed to be more active and mobile throughout the Brooks-Howell community. Through the No Place Like Home program, Charles received an iPad that was mounted on his wheelchair. His new tablet gives him more freedom to move around the community and to connect with friends and family through his touchscreen tablet.

“I like to go out in the sunshine. With my iPad, I can listen to music. It has been a great help to me because I can use it on the go. I’m not bound to my old computer in my room all the time,” said Charles.

SimplyHome, Community Homes®, and Eblen Charities founded the No Place Like Home program with the mission of ensuring that Veterans and their caregivers have the opportunity to access technology that will support their independence and create a new sense of freedom. Nothing can replace being independent and feeling at home, especially for Veterans who have had to leave home to serve their country and who, like Charles, may be living with disabilities as a result of their service.

Get Assistance; Give Assistance

The No Place Like Home program offers new and refurbished systems to disabled Veterans anywhere in the United States. If you would like to learn more about how you can access technology, please email info@simply-home.com or call 1.877.684.3581.

Make a Donation -Whether you would like to make a monetary contribution to the program or donate your system, your support will empower a Veteran to live a life on their terms.

About Eblen Charities

Founded in 1991, Eblen Charities is a non-profit organization whose outreach through its numerous programs has helped thousands of families each year with medical and emergency assistance. Eblen Charities is based in Western North Carolina and offers more than 70 programs to assist families in a variety of categories, such as health, housing, energy, education, and emergency assistance.

About Brooks-Howell Home

Brooks-Howell is a nonprofit, charitable Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) located in Asheville, North Carolina, and supported by United Methodist Women of the United Methodist Church. Originally established as a retirement home for United Methodist deaconesses and missionaries, it has evolved into a community that includes local residents from Western North Carolina, clergy and spouses and service personnel from other denominations.

VA Awards $200,000 Assistive Technology Grant to SimplyHome to Empower Independent Living for Veterans

SimplyHome will develop a platform bridging the gap between voice controls and a wide range of assistive technology in the home

ASHEVILLE, N.C., Aug. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — SimplyHome, LLC, a leader in the field of customized assistive technology, is pleased to announce that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded them a $200,000 Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology (SAHAT) Grant to develop a new platform simplifying the user experience of voice commands to control assistive technology in the home environment of Veterans and Servicemembers.

The purpose of the SAHAT Grant Program, authorized by Congress, is to expand home modification options for Veterans who apply for VA’s Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) benefit, and to augment their options for living independently in their own homes.

When using the new SimplyHome platform, Veterans and Servicemembers with physical disabilities will be able to issue single voice commands to accomplish complex sequences of pre-customized actions. A single command such as “time to go to bed” can lock doors, set the thermostat, and turn off lights in the home.

“Empowering our Veterans to control their home environments is important not only for the quality of life of the individual Veteran and his/her family, but also vital to maintaining the fabric of our communities that depend on these Servicemembers,” says Jason Ray, Vice President of Business Development at SimplyHome.

While the platform that will be developed through the VA Grant is new, SimplyHome has been providing innovative in-home assistive technology solutions since 2004. These solutions address a broad range of concerns, including the management of an individual’s medication, home environment, and health, and can provide immediate notifications to family members or caregivers of the individual.

North Carolina State Senator Thom Tillis and State Representative Mark Meadows recently expressed their support of the VA grant. Tillis attested, “As our communities face an increasing demand for this technology, I believe that SimplyHome will help meet the technological advancements needed.”

In a recent Benefits and Services report published by the VA, more than 4,000,000 Veterans received Disability Compensation in 2015. The SAHAT Grant project, totaling $783,421, will be in effect through September 30, 2017.

About SimplyHome:

SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products and related care-focused services. The company is committed to providing affordable and dignified solutions for independent living – specifically to aging and disabled populations nationwide. SimplyHome is known for its highly customizable systems that are tailored to meet each individual’s specific needs.

To learn more about SimplyHome, visit our website or email info@simply-home.com.

This article was funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Media Contact: Kristen Suttles, 1-828-684-8441, kristen@simply-home.com

SOURCE SimplyHome, LLC

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SimplyHome, LLC Awarded Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant

SimplyHome, LLC has been awarded the Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant (SAHAT) by the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA).

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Mark Meadows acknowledged their support of the grant.

“I applaud you for your dedication in providing each individual in the disabled veteran community an opportunity to live independently,” wrote Tillis.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently released the following:

VA Awards Grants to Develop Technology to Help Veterans,
Servicemembers Modify Their Specially Adapted Homes

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today the award of $783,421 in Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology (SAHAT) Grants to eligible individuals, researchers, and organizations to develop new technologies that would enhance Veterans and Servicemembers’ ability to live in specially adapted homes.

The SAHAT Grant Program was authorized by Congress to design assistive technologies to expand home modification options for Veterans who apply for VA’s Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) benefit. Grants of up to $200,000 have been issued to four selected grantees.

“We’re excited and expect that the technology developed with these grants will augment Veteran and Servicemembers’ options for living independently in their own homes,” said Curt Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity. “New technology will serve Veterans who currently live in specially adapted houses and open doors for more Veterans looking to modify their homes to fit their needs.”

Read the full article here.

To learn more about SimplyHome, visit our website or email info@simply-home.com.

The article was funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.