Sensors Harness Skills for Independence at UCP-NYC

UCP-NYC Image 1SimplyHome is pleased to announce our work with UCP-NYC to incorporate our customized assistive technology services to promote more independent living for residents with United Cerebral Palsy – NYC. UCP-NYC is the leading nonprofit agency in New York City providing direct services, technology and advocacy to children and adults with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

“It’s My Own Routine”

One UCP-NYC resident, Efrain, uses SimplyHome technologies to increase independence with respect to his health. He uses Telehealth devices that record his blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and each device notifies staff if those levels exceed set parameters.

Efrain also uses a medication dispenser, which allows him to start his day and take medication without assistance from staff.  “I like just getting up and being able to get going,” said Efrain. “It’s my own routine, I don’t have to wait for staff.”

Read more: UCP-NYC’s full article.

 

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SimplyHome Newsletter, December 2016: Innovating all the way!

 

It’s been a year full of exciting changes at SimplyHome!

From welcoming awesome new staff to being recognized as a top company to work for; from innovating with smart home pilot programs to saving money for individuals, states, and providers; from new technology grants to new puppies in the office…

It’s been a year to be thankful for!

Click here to read the SimplyHome year-in-review newsletter for 2016.

 

 

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Monarch Pilot Program: Smarter Homes, Greater Independence

PILOT PROGRAM TAKES OFF

SimplyHome is pleased to share technology success stories from our providers across the U.S. and other countries. Today we are featuring two stories of individuals who receive services through Monarch, a nonprofit that supports thousands of North Carolinians who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders.

Monarch began a pilot project in 2015, seeking to enhance independence for 46 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness living in eight homes in three North Carolina counties. The project combines SimplyHome’s wireless smart home technology with adaptive home modifications to create healthier, safer living environments where residents can have greater control of their daily activities.

You can read the full article in Monarch’s Reaching Dreams Fall/Winter 2016 Newsletter (the stories below are excerpts, used with permission, from that newsletter).

 

INDEPENDENCE THROUGH RESPONSIBILITY

For individuals like Crissy Fiolek, the installation of smart home technology like motion-sensor and iPad-controlled lighting, medication dispensers, panic pendants, an induction stove, temperature-controlled faucets and other features, has had a significant impact.

 

Monarch SmartHome 1

Pictured (l-r): Joann and Crissy, residents of one of Monarch’s smart homes, settle in for an evening at home after locking the front door and setting the alarm using an iPad and smart home technology.

For example, before the smart home technology was installed, Fiolek needed to be reminded three or four times a day by staff to take her medication. She needed assistance in taking the right dosage at the right time. As part of this project, Fiolek received a medication dispenser. The dispenser reminds her when to take her medication and safely provides the correct dosage for her. If she does not take it within a predetermined period, the dispenser accesses the wireless home system and alerts staff she may need assistance.

After just three months, Fiolek rarely has to be reminded to take her medication. She is now more independent when it comes to managing her medication and has more confidence and higher self-esteem as a result.

 

RESPONSIBILITY THROUGH INDEPENDENCE

With the help of smart home technology, Melvin Burton has taken greater advantage of his unsupervised time in the home. Many of the high-functioning people Monarch supports have unsupervised time, where they are able to stay by themselves in the home without staff for short periods.

Unsupervised time increases independence and fosters a sense of personal responsibility and self-reliance, but many residents are afraid to use it because they fear they will need staff and be unable to contact them. With this project, Burton now wears a wrist pendant which is set to alert staff if he presses the button and needs support during his unsupervised time.

 

Monarch Smart Home 2

Melvin shows off his wrist pendant, which is set to alert staff when he presses the button and needs their support.

 

Monarch continues to evaluate the success of this pilot project and hopes to expand it to other homes across the state. The Smart Home Project was developed in partnership with Trillium Health Resources and was made possible with generous support from The Harold H. Bate Foundation, the CarolinaEast Foundation, and many other donors.

 

About Monarch:

Monarch is a nonprofit organization that supports thousands of people statewide with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness, and substance use disorders.

 

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SimplyHome Recognized by OUTSIDE as Best Places to Work 2016

SimplyHome Top 100

SimplyHome has been named one of OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work of 2016. Each year, OUTSIDE recognizes the top 100 companies in the United States that help their employees strike the ideal balance between work and play. These companies encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious and prioritize giving back to the community.

 

SimplyHome ranked #48 on the list.  Other organizations on the list included New Belgium Brewing, Toad&Co., Smartwool, and Big Agnes.

 

To create the Best Places to Work 2016 list, OUTSIDE started by comparing employers to five core categories, reflecting the magazine’s values and focus: Adventure/Travel, Wellness, Culture, Gear, and Media. OUTSIDE then conducted a rigorous vetting process in partnership with the Best Companies Group to assess the policies, practices, and demographics of hundreds of companies.

Funny Group Picture

 Empowering The Person

A dog park to accompany a dog-friendly office, company breakfasts, ping pong tournaments, and birthday celebrations sometimes involving a piñata, are only a few of the perks that come with being part of the SimplyHome team.

But, what really excites us about working at SimplyHome is learning to understand what it means to be person-centered – to listen to the goals and desires of people that are often written off because of their disabilities. As people, we all crave the same things: independence in our daily lives, deep connections with other people, and the opportunity to work towards our goals.

Group Picture

Empowering Individuals Through Independence

We recognize that quality of life does not have to be compromised because of someone’s age or disability.  Many individuals living with a developmental disability or wishing to age in place have the ability to live independently in their homes – if given the proper support. In addition, rising costs of health care and the economic climate impact quality of life. We develop assistive technology to empower individuals to have the freedom of choice – the choice on how they want to live and where they want to live.

Our technology proactively alerts loved ones and caregivers of changes in behavioral patterns via text message, email or phone call alerts. Whether it’s grandma turning the stove on in the middle of the night, grandpa forgetting to close the front door or your son leaving his bed at an unusual hour, family and care staff can be instantly notified.

Group ping pong photo with quote

The Importance of Passion: Q&A with Allen Ray, SimplyHome’S CEO and Co-founder

Q: What separates SimplyHome from other companies?

A: Our people make us uniquely different. As a technology company, outsiders think it’s all the cool, shiny objects that separates us from others. The reality is the technology we use changes all the time…it’s the people who make the difference.

 

Q: SimplyHome hires people who live a very passionate life.  What do you see as the relationship between passionate employees and excellent work?

A: When a person has passion in their personal and professional lives, it creates vision and purpose to make the magic happen in every part of their day. One key interview question we ask every applicant is “What do you do outside of work”? We know everyone is uniquely different, but we want the common thread to be a zeal for life because it makes the most of every day. In short, we believe a genuine passion will lead to outcomes of excellence and a life filled with joy.

Beau - Blog PostQ: How does hiring passionate people contribute to the overall tone of the office?

A: To make a difference you must have balance, joy and self-direction as a natural part of who you define yourself to be. The company’s responsibility is to feed each person’s desire to make a difference through supporting their compassion. We all benefit from being surrounded by people who connect the love of outdoors, community involvement and personal values with a focused passion to help others. I believe they go hand in hand. Essentially, the culmination of what we do and the outcomes we are honored to create every day, is better because of our people.

 

Q: How has being located in Asheville helped SimplyHome to thrive as a company?

A: I believe the place and people you surround yourself with makes a huge difference in the pure joy each of us experiences! Being a part of this beautiful area replenishes the energy needed to be the best person you can be. An afternoon hike on the Mountains-to-Sea trail, a bike ride along the Parkway, a stroll through the Arboretum or kayaking through a national forest, topped off by your favorite local brew will replenish your soul like little else. Being in Asheville allows the opportunity to connect like-minded people into a cohesive team, while affording all of us the opportunity to call this beautiful place home.

 

Above all, SimplyHome believes in doing the right thing for those we are serving, ourselves and our community.

 

Want to explore how technology can empower independence? Check out our Facebook Page or subscribe to our blog for up-to-date news!

 

For any questions, contact SimplyHome at 877.684.3581 or email info@simply-home.com.

 

About OUTSIDE:

OUTSIDE is America’s leading active lifestyle brand. Since 1977, OUTSIDE has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The OUTSIDE family includes OUTSIDE magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, the Outside Podcast, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ for the iPad, Outside tablet edition, Outside Books, and Outside GO, a revolutionary, 21st-century adventure-travel company. Connect with OUTSIDE online, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

ABOUT THE BEST COMPANIES GROUP:

Best Companies Group works with national and local partners around the country and internationally to establish and manage “Best Places to Work,” “Best Companies,” and “Best Employers” programs on a national, statewide, regional and industry basis. Through its thorough workplace assessment, utilizing employer questionnaires and employee-satisfaction surveys, BCG identifies and recognizes companies who have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence.

 

 


 

Arc of NC State Conference Features David Maennle and SimplyHome

“Enabling technology empowers individuals to dream of new possibilities where every person can live a life of their choosing. It should be less about a person’s needs and more about their abilities, capabilities, and potential for success through natural supports.”

- Allen Ray, SimplyHome

 

This year’s ARC of NC State Conference will feature key presentations by SimplyHome and a Western North Carolina family who uses SimplyHome technology on a daily basis to support more independent living. This year’s conference takes place September 8-9, in Charlotte, NC, and brings together self-advocates, families of people with disabilities, and I/DD professionals to create an informative and inspiring experience aimed at supporting people with disabilities as they pursue their personal goals for work, home, and community.

SimplyHome’s conference presentation will engage families to discuss the life-changing effects of assistive technology and smart home options for people with disabilities. SimplyHome will also partner in a panel on Assistive Technology. David Maennle, an individual who uses SimplyHome technology, and his mother, Becky Garland Hopper, will both participate in this panel, discussing how David’s use of assistive technology supports his vision for his life.

David's VisionDavid Maennle’s story (“David’s Vision”) is a great example of how technology can promote independence and create customized outcomes for people with disabilities. David Maennle is an accomplished young man who won’t take no for an answer. Diagnosed with down syndrome as an infant, David has established very specific goals for his home, workplace, and community. He has graduated from Western Carolina University’s University Participant program, formed friendships with people with and without disabilities, successfully completed internships related to emergency medical care and athletic injuries, obtained a job with the Graham County EMS, and frequently volunteers in his community. David’s coworkers attest that he is a valued member of his workplace and his larger community. David also serves in leadership for the advocacy organization NC-TASH.

David’s mother Becky, an outspoken advocate for inclusion, also has a unique perspective on the use of technology to promote independence for people with disabilities. Becky not only functions as Treasurer for the North Carolina TASH, but also works as Finance Officer of Graham County, NC. Because of her position in finance, Becky is keenly aware that David’s chosen lifestyle not only promotes his desired goals for his life, but ends up being a cost-effective way to support people with disabilities.

David uses a SimplyHome system (a customized integration of assistive technology) to promote residential safety, to adhere to a daily schedule, and to enable his family members to provide a natural level of support without intruding on his independence and privacy. David utilizes customized verbal prompts and various sensors throughout his home to reach outcomes related to cooking his own meals, completing a morning routine of self-care before he heads to work, ensuring he meets his health needs every day, and accessing help quickly if needed.

Comparing North Carolina’s typical costs for providing group home or institution-based support services to someone with disabilities similar to David’s, Becky has calculated that David’s chosen, independent lifestyle, supported by assistive technology, saves the state almost $100,000 annually.

 

“Beyond cost, the big factor is his quality of life, and his ability to navigate life himself, which is priceless.”

- Becky Garland Hopper

 

David continues to set and meet goals for his life, whether it be his goal of building his own log cabin, caring for his own bluetick hound, or continuing to work with area emergency services in Western North Carolina.

What can technology do for you and your family? Do you have the courage to change the way you and your loved ones live? Are you ready for technology to step in and provide the independence your family members long for? We’re on this journey together.

Thanks to the willingness of David and other individuals to share their stories, SimplyHome is engaging in thought-provoking discussions on customized technology solutions that promote independence, dignity, and person-centered planning in the lives of people with disabilities.

Sources & Additional Resources:

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

Related Links

http://www.simply-home.com

Get to Know: Enrique Pineda!

Enrique

 

We’re very excited to welcome our newest employee, Enrique Pineda, to the SimplyHome family!  Enrique joins our Product Development team.

 

Tell us a little bit about your professional background and your new role at SimplyHome:

I’m here to solve software problems, regardless of the form factor of the application. What excites me about my role is the creative problem-solving. I get to choose the solution that best meets the needs of everyone involved.

Before SimplyHome, I was a freelance software developer and consultant. I was not always a software developer. Like many people, my work career has taken me on a diverse path. Although I knew at a very young age I would be involved with computers, I took on many jobs that were not related to computers. Every role I took on throughout my working career has helped shape my character and work ethic.

 

You’re new to Asheville. What are you looking forward to about Asheville culture?

Whenever I travel, it’s always about the local art, the food, and the people.

 

What’s your favorite place that you’ve lived?

I’d have to say it’s between Seattle and the Philippines.

 

Name one of your favorite books or films.

Only ONE?! Not possible.

Films on regular rotation: Pacific Rim, Aliens, Godzilla, Prometheus, The Three Amigos, Brain Candy, and Nacho Libre.

Books…highly influential were Object Orientation, Book of Five Rings, Tao Te Ching, Elric of Melnibone, The Ice Schooner.

 

When you aren’t working, how do you like to spend your time?

Riding my bike, spending time in my hammock, catching up on movies, reading, or going to the sushi bar. All of these activities put a smile on my face.

 

If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?

My family. We’re a riot together. And we will annoy other patrons.

 

What’s been the best thing about your first week at SimplyHome?

Doing what I love most in my career: Solving important problems that make me feel I’m contributing something meaningful to someone else’s life.

 

New Employee Welcome – Hannah Kaminer!

We’re very excited to welcome our newest employee, Hannah Kaminer, to the SimplyHome family!  Hannah joins SimplyHome’s Customer Service and Marketing team.

HannahHow long have you lived in Asheville?  

I grew up here and then moved back here in 2011, after living in Texas for a few years. The only things I really miss about Texas, other than the people of course, are the beef brisket and the ubiquitous cowboy boots.

What do you like best about Asheville?

I love that people know how to slow down. They take time to enjoy nature and live music. And I like living in a small enough city that I run into neighbors and friends all the time. It’s nice to feel known.

When you aren’t working, how do you like to spend your time?

I like to play music, rollerblade and hike, and explore Asheville’s food scene with friends.

What’s been the best thing about your first week at SimplyHome?

The best thing about my first week at SimplyHome was that I felt very welcomed! And I also liked that people were trying to help me “learn by doing” from Day 1 – that made me feel like I was going to be part of the team, to already get practice on doing some of my job! Also, I really enjoyed the tour of all snack locations in the office.

What’s been the most surprising thing?

The most surprising thing so far has been getting my own office and computer to work on – and it makes me very happy that there are trees outside my windows!

Any favorite quotes?

“We are more the conduit than the creator of what we express…Art is an act of tuning in and dropping down the well.” – Julia Cameron

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.

2016 Sky High Growth Award

2016 Sky High Growth AwardWe’re excited to announce SimplyHome has received the 2016 Sky High Growth Award by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.  This award, based on growth in revenue and employment, also recognized 35 other companies in Asheville.  We believe our growth has been parallel to that of Asheville and the work we do reflects the work of this city. See the entire list here. 

Allen Ray, Co-founder and CEO of SimplyHome, says, “We could have chosen anywhere in the country to have as our corporate headquarters and we choose Asheville. What I like most about living in Asheville is I’m surrounded by people who also happily choose to live and work here.”

Did you know…

Visitors are often greeted by one of our office pups – Since it’s a dog-friendly office!

One room of the office contains a ping pong table used for company tournaments.

The SimplyHome name came from a conversation with a nursing home resident who stated no matter how well she’s treated, how great the food tastes, or how well she likes living in this nursing home, if given a choice, she’d want to “Simply be home.”