First Family in North Carolina to Get Technology Funded Through the Innovations Waiver

The Dankner’s Story

We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with a customer who happens to be the first person in the state of North Carolina to receive our assistive technology funded through the Innovations Waiver. Lisa Dankner is the mother of Natalie Dankner who is a 26-year-old women living with autism and using SimplyHome technology to remain as independent as possible.

IMG_0060In our discussion, we talked about the specifics of the system components they are using, the rules that are set and what concerns are being addressed.

“My husband travels, and this system has been a godsend in terms of having more of a normal life,” says Lisa.

The system was installed in the Dankner’s home is January of 2012. They are using a combination of door/window sensors, water sensors, smoke sensors and a pendant to control when the system is on and off to monitor Natalie’s safety when it comes to some of her behaviors.

“It’s our day that is different,” says Lisa.

Some of Natalie’s behaviors that are of concern are leaving the home without anyone knowing, lighting things on fire using the kitchen stove, and flooding the home. Natalie has had a history of clogging the toilets. Lisa says they have spent thousands in repairs already and are now able get a notification before it is too late.

“Sleeping at night was difficult because Natalie gets up at all times of the day and night. With the SimplyHome System, I feel confident, with the settings we have, she wouldn’t be out the door long before we would be woken. It actually allows me to have normal sleep,” says Lisa.

Funding For Technology

Lisa spoke about the challenges she has had with Medicaid and what she has learned during the process. “Hopefully we are leading the way for other people in the state to be able to experience the benefits of using SimplyHome technology,” Lisa said.

IMG_0056After Natalie was approved for the Innovations Waiver, Natalie’s case manager submitted a system recommendation to the state for approval for the assistive technology. The challenge is often giving a vision to funders as to how sensor tools can create improved safety and independence. Lisa has been an amazing advocate for her daughter and did not stop fighting when times got tough.

Natalie is now a productive member of the community – working, volunteering, shopping, going to church and living as every human being should, with dignity and independence.

Natalie is passionate about being an independent young woman. Lisa says her daughter’s autism has been “a life long learning process.” She is committed to finding what solutions give Natalie maximum independence.

Elder Abuse Awareness Month

“With Gov. Pat McCrory’s declaration of June as Elder Abuse Awareness Month in North Carolina and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, it is important to raise awareness within the local community in order to make an impact not only in the state but also the nation.

“While people may recognize signs of physical abuse, it is often mental and financial abuse that occurs and goes undetected,” says Amy Natt, a certified geriatric care manager and owner of Aging Outreach Services, a full-service elder care firm with offices in Southern Pines and Cary.

The latest U. S. Census statistics show approximately 14 million U.S. adults age 65 and older and 19 million U.S adults aged 18 to 64 have a disability, which increases their susceptibility to abuse. Elder abuse and neglect occurs when a family member, caregiver or individual trusted by the elder, intentionally creates risk or does harm to that elder.

With the more than 10,000 baby  boomers turning age 65 everyday, this group is the largest growing segment of the population making the need to combat elder abuse and raise awareness even greater. By 2050, U.S. Census data predicts there will be more than 19 million age 85 or older.

With a growing population of elders, it is often impossible to have exact numbers of elder abuse reports because many go unreported; however, the latest studies have revealed that females elders are more likely to be abused than their male counterparts and that the older the elders are, the more likely they are to be abused. Research has also shown that those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are at a greater risk of being abused. Older adults may not report the abuse because of fear of retaliation or because they are embarrassed, or because they lack the physical or cognitive abilities to do so.

The impact of elder abuse impacts not only the elder with additional medical costs or personal financial losses but also increased expenditures by county, state and federal entitlement programs.

“An alarming number of scams now target older adults with false claims and promises, hoping to tap their financial resources,” says Natt. “Sadly, we have seen many cases of abuse that occur within a family. A lack of resources, caregiver stress and fractured relationships can contribute to this as well as a history of past abuse.”

With raised awareness through education and initiatives like Elder Abuse Awareness Month, elders can be safer in their communities. “Abuse occurs in many forms, and as a society, we need to have an awareness and become advocates for our elder population,” says Natt. “After all, we are all aging and someday, it may be you who needs a voice.”" For more information visit Aging Outreach Services

Giving Back

Screen Shot 2012-12-10 at 9.50.04 AM This month CEPro shared the industry’s stories of charity. SimplyHome was features for its No Place Like Home Program, a partnership between SimplyHome and Eblen Charities that offers individuals access to the assistive technology and home automation they need to live independently at home.

We are honored to be recognized and encourage our friends, all of you, to contribute to the No Place Like Home fund, if you can this holiday season. The article features the first ever family to receive technology through the program. It was a mother and her second-grade son who has autism. The mother was looking for a GPS tracking device because the school has lost him so many times due to elopement.

Click HERE to Donate to the No Place Like Home Fund

Click HERE to Read the Full Article in the Giving Issue (SimplyHome Featured on Page 56)Screen Shot 2012-12-10 at 9.49.24 AM

SimplyHome, LLC Receives the 2012 Stephen E. Sallee Award of Excellence for Assistive Technology

The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program Grand Advisory Council awards SimplyHome, LLC for their significant contribution to the field of Assistive Technology.

The Grant Advisory Council of the NC Assistive Technology Program recognizes individuals, professionals, and organizations that have made significant contributions to the lives of people with disabilities through their efforts in the field of assistive technology.

awardSimplyHome is honored to be acknowledged for our contribution to furthering access to assistive technology devices and services for North Carolina citizens with disabilities.

SimplyHome defined an entirely new market and use for assistive technology. Beginning in 2003, when home automation technologies mostly catered to security needs and making life more comfortable and convenient, Allen Ray realized an opportunity to give greater independence and improved quality of life to individuals with disabilities while passing on the savings to state Medicaid plans and individual families.

“We are humbled to receive this award and inspired to make a difference in as many lives as possible. We especially recognize that this is a team effort, ” says Allen Ray, SimplyHome CEO.

SimplyHome has helped transform Medicaid reimbursement methodologies in several states through their proven high quality care delivered at a fraction of the traditional care delivery methods. SimplyHome’s application of technology, paired with appropriate caregiver supports, has single-handedly enhanced the care and options of people who are aging or have a disability.

“We have worked very hard the past 10 years to use assistive technology to improve the quality of life for persons challenged by aging concerns or disability and to remain fiscally responsible. We are thrilled and privileged to receive this award,” says Drue Ray, SimplyHome Vice President.

The Gift of Love

This time of year brings with it visits to family near and far.  The holidays offer us the opportunity to connect with people we haven’t seen in awhile and also check in on how loved ones are doing.

As family members age, we often see distinct changes in health and living patterns from visit to visit, and we may become concerned with their level of independence.  What indicators might suggest that loved ones need assistance or technology for aging in place?

  • Change in physical appearance—Have they lost or gained a noticeable amount of weight?  Are they taking care of their general appearance such as being dressed neatly or brushing their hair?
  • Changes in routine—Are they engaging in their regular eating, toileting, and bathing activities?  Have they become more sedentary?  Do they avoid certain activities due to pain or disinterest?
  • Changes in social status—Have they become more isolated?  Do they find excuses for avoiding activities outside of the home that used to be meaningful to them?
  • Changes in mood—Do they seem more irritable, withdrawn, sad, or quiet?  Are conversations reduced to simple yes/no responses?  Do they refute everything you say, OR do they agree to everything because it’s easier?
  • Changes in health—Do they have any noticeable memory, ambulation, or speech issues?  Are they refusing medical care, OR are they accessing more medical care than before?  Are they taking too much or too little medication?

photo(4)Granted, not all of these issues indicate that individuals need to move to assisted living   With the number of wellness products and sensor systems in the market today, technology can provide dignified and affordable solutions for aging in place.

  • Medication dispensers can remind individuals when it is time to take medication as well as be linked to a care center that can notify family, if needed
  • Wellness monitoring tools such as blood pressure cuffs, glucose monitors, and pulse oximeters collect health data in confidential online health files and send notifications should an individual’s status exceed the predetermined thresholds
  • Wireless sensor systems utilize door/window contacts, bed pressure pads, and even stove sensors to promote independence with activities of daily living

While conversations around these concerns can be difficult, I often encourage families to have them sooner rather than later.  Being proactive offers individuals the opportunity to have a plan in place without having to make impulsive decisions if a crisis occurs.

Cameron Kempson, M.Ed.

Cameron is the Client Care and Education Specialist with SimplyHome.  She has worked with families in the fields of aging and disabilities for more than 20 years.

Are You Aware of How Assistive Technology Can Help Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease?

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s; today, the number of people with the disease has soared to nearly 5.4 million.  Get involved this month, and help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.

The Facts on Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2012, 1 in 8 adults over the age of 65 will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  Another American develops the disease every 68 seconds, and it is estimated that by 2050, up to 16 million will have the Alzheimer’s.

The estimated costs of caring for this population in 2012 will total more than $200 billion.  In addition, more than 15 million family and friends will provide at least 17 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $210.5 billion.  Clearly, Alzheimer’s disease is not only an emotional stressor for caregivers and families, but a financial one as well.

How Can Assistive Technology Help?

The primary goal for integrating assistive technology into an Alzheimer’s care plan is to offer support to the family members offering care.   Products and services available in the market today can address issues such as wandering, safety, and medication compliance.

At SimplyHome, we work with families and caregivers to develop customized systems of care.  Products range from GPS watches to medication dispensers to our wireless SimplyHome System.  Along with equipment, our services also include:

  • Offering environmental controls to develop independence with home living skills
  • Customizing wireless sensor systems that alert individuals, families or service providers to changes in routines
  • Providing a website that tracks trends in activities of daily living to support skill development, care management and service planning
  • Helping families access other products that address specific safety concerns such as wandering

Assistive technology can be another tool for those who are providing care and monitoring safety.  It can also track changes in physical and behavioral status so that families and health providers can address issues prior to a crisis.  Assistive technology cannot replace the love and support families and caregivers offer.  What it can provide, however, is an affordable solution to concerns that families may have for their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s disease. Visit our website at www.simply-home.com for more information.

AARP Features SimplyHome-How to Help an Aging Parent

How to Help an Aging Parent

Use this guide to assess when a loved one needs a caregiver and what options are available

by: Tina Adler | from: AARP The Magazine | June 13, 2012

How to Know When It’s Time

Sometimes an elder’s need for help is sudden and obvious. More often, though, it becomes apparent gradually, experts say. So how will you know? Watch for changes in your loved one’s behavior, such as ignoring favorite hobbies, missing dates with friends, or forgetting to pay bills. Not every change means danger, but when a shift happens, it’s important to understand why, says Claudia Fine, an executive at SeniorBridge, a geriatric-care management company. So snoop, Fine advises. Tag along to your loved one’s doctors’ appointments and ask questions.

See also: Does your loved one need a caregiver? Use this checklist.

Once you understand the person’s situation, you can help develop plans, says Peter Notarstefano, director of home- and community-based services at LeadingAge, an association for aging-services organizations. Although you may not see yourself as a “caregiver,” that’s the term for anyone who looks after a person who needs assistance with daily tasks. AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center can help.

Staying at Home

Keeping a loved one in his or her house, or yours, can be challenging if your loved one needs daily help with some tasks. Thankfully, there are services to make it easier.

Adult day facilities offer meals, activities, companionship and some medical care. One popular program for frail people is the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). It’s free for those who qualify for Medicaid; others pay about $3,000 a month.

Service programs such as Senior Corps send volunteers age 55 or older to visit elderly individuals at home and provide companionship.

Occupational therapists can evaluate a home and its resident and recommend grab bars and other changes to improve safety. They also help clients develop strength and skills, such as balance, so they can manage more of their daily activities. Studies show that visits from an OT help older people stay in their homes longer.

If you and your family member want to live near each other but not in the same house, you can now rent a fully equipped, backyard mini-apartment that attaches to your home’s utilities. Some of these so-called assisted living structures come with monitoring systems.

Assistive-technology companies have products that can ensure your relative is safe. SimplyHome offers monitoring equipment such as motion sensors and GPS watches, and QuietCare (careinnovations.com) has a motion-sensor system that can learn a person’s daily patterns and send alerts when there is a significant change.

In some areas nonprofit support networks called Villages help older residents stay in their homes. Volunteers perform some everyday tasks, and the Villages also arrange for discounted services, from plumbing to nursing care. Annual membership fees are usually $300 to $500. See whether there’s a Village near you.

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The SimplyHome System™ Named Edison Awards Best New Product Finalist

SimplyHome Will Be Honored for Innovative Technology That Empowers Independent Living. The Company’s SimplyHome System™ is Named a Best New Product Finalist in the Lifestyle and Social Impact Category by the 2012 Edison Awards.

Asheville, NC (PRWEB) April 20, 2012

SimplyHome, a leader in the Assistive Technology industry, announced that its SimplyHome System™ has been named a best new product finalist by the internationally renowned 2012 Edison Awards™. The SimplyHome System’s™ innovative technology is designed to increase independence, save money on care, and meet the individual needs of each customer. The SimplyHome System™ is a finalist in the Lifestyle and Social Impact Category.

“We are honored to be named an Edison Awards Finalist,” said Allen Ray, CEO of SimplyHome. “SimplyHome’s mission is to support independent living through the use of customized technology, and we expect this recognition will only further our efforts to enhance the lives of those we serve.”

The distinguished Edison Awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison, inspiring America’s drive to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy.

Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards will be announced April 26, 2012 at the Edison Awards Annual Gala, held in the historic ballroom of New York’s famed Capitale.

The 2012 Edison Awards are sponsored by Nielson, Discovery Communications, SCIENCE, USA TODAY, CSRware, and applepeak. For more information about the Edison Awards and a list of past winners, visit http://www.edisonawards.com.

About SimplyHome

SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products and related care-focused services. The company is committed to promoting 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 customer’s specific needs.

SimplyHome products and services range from voice-activated environmental controls (as shown recently on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), Personal Emergency Response Systems, GPS watches, motion sensors, and stove monitors to Virtual Care Management® – SimplyHome’s model for client care.

For more information, visit: http://www.simply-home.com.

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Media Only Contact:
Katherine Branch
of SimplyHome
+1-828-684-8441
Katherine(dot)Branch(at)simplyhome-cmi(Dot)com

SimplyHome Named Edison Awards Finalist

Assistive Technology Leader, SimplyHome, will be Recognized at Edison Awards Gala on April 26 in New York

Asheville, N.C. (PRWEB) March 13, 2012

SimplyHome, a leader in the assistive technology industry, has been named as an Award Finalist in the Lifestyle and Social Impact category of the internationally renowned 2012 Edison Awards™. The distinguished awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison, inspiring America’s drive to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy.

“More than any year, this year’s slate of Finalists demonstrate the enormous value of teamwork, experimentation, consumer focus and market awareness,” said Tom Stat, Chairman of the Edison Awards’ Steering Committee. “It’s exciting to see companies like SimplyHome continuing Thomas Edison’s legacy of challenging conventional thinking.”

“We are honored to be named an Edison Awards Finalist,” said Allen Ray, CEO of SimplyHome. “SimplyHome’s mission is to support independent living through the use of customized technology, and we expect this recognition will only further our efforts to enhance the lives of those we serve.”

The ballot of nominees for the Edison Awards is judged by more than 3,000 senior business executives and academics from across the nation whose votes acknowledge the Finalists’ success in meeting the award criteria of Concept, Value, Delivery and Impact. The panel includes members of the powerful Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), which has been partnered with the Edison Awards since 2009.

Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards will be announced April 26, 2012 at the Edison Awards Annual Gala, held in the historic ballroom of New York’s famed Capitale.

The members of the Edison Awards Steering Committee are senior executives with diverse marketing, scientific, and business backgrounds who monitor the development and successful launch of innovative products each year. The Committee is responsible for bestowing the annual Edison Achievement Awards and serves as a guidepost in developing the list of nominees that is presented to the Edison Award judges.

The 2012 Edison Awards are sponsored by Nielson, Discovery Communications, SCIENCE, USA Today, CSRware, and applepeak. For more information about the Edison Awards and a list of past winners, visit http://www.edisonawards.com.

About SimplyHome

SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products and related care-focused services. The company is committed to promoting 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 customer’s specific needs.

SimplyHome products and services range from voice-activated environmental controls (as shown recently on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), Personal Alert Systems, GPS watches, motion sensors, and stove monitors to Virtual Care Management® – SimplyHome’s model for client care.

For more information, visit: http://www.simply-home.com.

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Watch These Video Clips | SimplyHome’s Return to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

On January 6, 2012, SimplyHome made its second appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the Gibbs Family episode. Because Audrey Gibbs’ vision was failing and had suffered several brain aneurysms, SimplyHome was asked to create business applications and technologies that would enable her to work out of her new home.

“We are pleased to return to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” said Allen Ray, CEO of SimplyHome. “But what pleases us more is that we were able to create solutions that empowered Audrey to continue working.”

The Gibbs Family

Prior to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Audrey Gibbs and her six children lived in a rural Iowa farmhouse with no functional plumbing or indoor bathrooms. Soon after her husband’s death, Audrey’s vision began to fail and it became difficult for her to travel to town for work.

SimplyHome’s Return to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

When it became clear that “off the shelf” technologies would not provide the solutions needed for Audrey Gibbs and her family, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition contacted assistive technology leader and show veteran, SimplyHome. The Gibbs Family episode marked SimplyHome’s second appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has done a great job improving accessibility in the home beyond the physical environment,” said Ian Sanders, Director of Sales at SimplyHome. “With the use of technology, we are able to expand options that really support independent living.”

The Gibbs Family / SimplyHome Connection

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition asked SimplyHome to create business applications and technologies that would enable Audrey to work out of her new home. Supports provided by SimplyHome included: custom software with features such as appointment scheduling, billing, and communication with clients; integration for all business applications with Audrey’s iPad, iPhone and laptop; and a business website. Audrey also received a scanning device that can audibly read typewritten words and handwriting from a piece of paper. In Addition, SimplyHome setup a surround sound system in Audrey’s massage room, wi-fi throughout the house, and a 42″ interactive touch screen television for her daughter.

Learn more about the technology we provided for the Gibbs family at www.simply-home.com/extreme.