By Debbie Gregory.
At MilitaryConnection.com, we have been supporters of the Gary Sinise Foundation for many years. Since its inception in 2011, the Gary Sinise Foundation has helped close the gaps in support our defenders sometimes face, including building specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans.
The foundation’s RISE program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) provides specially adapted smart homes, home modifications, mobility devices, and adapted vehicles to America’s most severely injured veterans and heroes.
For many Veterans transitioning from active duty, there is a certain level of adjustment that needs to be made to return to civilian life. Bur for those who have been severely wounded, their injuries can be a roadblock. Activities that most of take for granted can be huge stumbling blocks: accessing the bathroom, answering the door, changing a light bulb.
With the rapid growth of smart home technology, many improvements can be made, improving the quality of life and assisting in recovering independence.
Some of the key smart devices that have gone in to homes for veterans that have been found to be essential for severely injured Veterans include: smart thermostats, that not only allow users to change settings via their smartphones, but also control which room’s temperature needs to be adjusted so that other family members’ comfort isn’t impacted; smart home security, including smart door locks, doorbell cameras, security cameras, alarms, and sensors that can assist in the relief of some of the symptoms of PTSD; lighting and appliance control, again using a smart phone to control these functions; motorized furniture and appliances, including doors, stoves, cupboards and counters to provide easier access to veterans confined to wheelchairs or with restricted mobility.
RISE will complete 51 homes this year, with the goal of producing another 10-to-12 smart homes each year.