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  • Changes in mood—Do they seem more irritable, withdrawn, sad, or quiet?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.

SimplyHome Mentors Young Innovators in the Community

Edison Award Finalist, SimplyHome, teaches children about innovative technology and aging in place.

Asheville, NC (PRWEB) November 05, 2012

When Claxton Elementary decided to participate in the FIRST™ Lego™ League Robotics Competition, they called on SimplyHome. The theme for this year’s Lego competition required the students to design a product that would benefit senior adults, and SimplyHome was honored to encourage the young innovators.

Over eight weeks time, SimplyHome staff shared experience, knowledge and resources to guide the children through their critical problem solving process. In the end, the students expressed an awareness of and appreciation for the ways innovative technology can assist senior adults.

“We started this project focused on what we could teach the students, but left energized and excited by what they taught us,” says Allen Ray, SimplyHome CEO.

Last year, SimplyHome received an Edison Award for innovation in technology. As a finalist the company was encouraged to give back to current and future innovators through storytelling, direct teaching and communication.

The SimplyHome System™ by SimplyHome, LLC was awarded an Edison Bronze Medal for “Best New Product.” The distinguished Edison Awards embody 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. The SimplyHome System™ is a winner in the “Lifestyle and Social Impact” category, one of fifteen categories honored by the Edison Awards.

The SimplyHome System™ utilizes multiple sensors to log activities of daily living and proactively notify caregivers and loved ones of changes in behavioral patterns. Text, email or phone alerts can be generated by a single event, an intersection of multiple events or by inactivity. Assigned family or caregivers may log in to their SimplyHome account to view activity and trends in daily living patterns.

Components like motion sensors, door and window contacts, and bed pressure pads address issues including falls, wandering, and sleep routines. The SimplyHome System™ can also monitor wellness priorities ranging from blood pressure and glucose levels, to weight and medication management.

Watch VIDEO Here.

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.

Innovative Services, Inc. Recognized by Modern Healthcare Magazine as one of Healthcare’s Fastest-Growing Healthcare Companies

My Innovative Services utilizes SimplyHome technology to empower greater independence to individuals living with a disability.

Asheville, NC

SimplyHome would like to congratulate Innovative Services, Inc., our Wisconsin based partner who has been named one of Healthcare’s Hottest Companies. Innovative Services provides supports and services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the use of innovative technology.

Modern Healthcare recognized 40 of the fastest growing companies by growth from 2006 to 2011 in these sectors: hospitals/hospital systems, physician group practices, payers/insurers, and suppliers. It’s growth of over 105% ranks Innovative Services as 32nd on their list.

Innovative Services, Inc. provides flexible, accessible and family-centered supports and services to developmentally disabled and special needs consumers in Wisconsin. As they work to improve the lives of the people they serve, Innovative Services understands the importance of utilizing the funds available for healthcare, inclusive of SimplyHome technology to promote greater independence.

“We believe our understanding the needs of individuals who require the supports we provide, tied to recognizing the limitations to the assets available, is the secret to our successful growth,” says Rick Bahr, Chief Operating Officer of Innovative Services.

Modern Healthcare is the industry’s leading source of healthcare business and policy news, research and information. They report on important healthcare events and trends, as they happen, through their weekly print magazine, websites, e-newsletters, mobile products and events. Modern Healthcare magazine is ranked No. 1 in readership among healthcare executives and deemed a “must-read” by the who’s who in healthcare.

The weekly print magazine, websites, e-newsletters, mobile products and events provide a powerful and all-encompassing industry presence.

Requirements to be eligible for Modern Healthcare’s Fastest Growing Healthcare Companies are:

  • Be headquartered in the U.S.
  • Have at least $20 million in revenue for 2011, and
  • Have been in business for five years or more.

All submitted financial documentation was tabulated and analyzed by Modern Healthcare. A sample of Modern Healthcare’s tabulations were independently assessed by the accounting and management consulting firm of Deloitte & Touche.

About Innovative Services, Inc.

Since its inception in 2004, Innovative Services has been dedicated to providing safe and healthy support services that encourage maximum independence for the people they serve.

That emphasis on individual independence and choice makes Innovative Services the preferred supplier for consumers in Wisconsin. The company now serves more than 850 developmentally disabled children and adults throughout the state.

For more information visit: www.myinnovativeservices.com.

About SimplyHome, LLC

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.  SimplyHome is a 2012 Edison Award winner for “Best New Product.”

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

A Choice of Community Care, in Your Own Home

 

 

A Choice of Community Care, in Your Own Home

 By JUDITH GRAHAM

 

For 51 years, Catherine Mack has lived in a four-bedroom house in Haddon Township, N.J. Even at age 96, she has no intention of leaving.

Joining other older adults at a nearby retirement community doesn’t appeal to her, although the facility is attractive and has a great reputation.

“I think in a place like that, life is restricted,” Ms. Mack explained. “You eat at a certain time, and you’re always around other people. I am more on the side that I like to do what I want to do when I want to do it.”

So this independent woman instead selected to get services at home from the retirement community’s “C.C.R.C. without walls” program.

Only a dozen continuing care retirement community — C.C.R.C. — programs like this exist across the country, mostly east of the Mississippi. But several more are under development, and experts believe the concept may be poised to expand more broadly in the years ahead.

How does it work?

In traditional continuing care communities, members pay a substantial entry fee ($250,000 and up) and monthly fees (typically $2,000 to $4,000 a month) for housing, with a lot of on-site amenities and a guarantee that assisted living and nursing home care will be available, if needed. The model is “come to us and you’ll get what you need — all in one place.”

In a continuing care program without walls, members also pay an entry fee ($20,000 to $70,000) and monthly fees ($250 to $800) and receive a similar guarantee of lifelong care, with a twist. The main focus of these programs is helping people stay healthy and independent in their homes for as long as possible. This model can be summed up as “let us bring what you need to you — or find a way to make it easy for you to get it.”

With retirement nest eggs shrunken because of the recession, and 90 percent of older adults indicating they want to age in place at home, “this was something we feel makes a lot of sense,” said Larry Yachcik, president of Porter Hills Retirement Communities and Services in Grand Rapids, Mich., one of the nation’s newest providers of such services.

Armen Oumedian, 89, who joined soon after the Porter Hills program opened in July, said, “I see this as a tremendous way to lift a responsibility off the shoulders of my family and make it so I can live a continuing life in the community.”

“It’s a great comfort, a great security, to know you’ll be taken care of and that you’ve made all the necessary arrangements,” he said.

Programs vary, but all rely on care coordinators to get to know members, understand their living situations, keep an eye on their physical health, and handle problems that come up.

Five years ago, when Ms. Mack had several serious medical problems that put her in the hospital for nearly seven months, “my care coordinator had her finger in the pie all the time,” she said. “If there was any little bump in what I was going through, she was right there, trying to fix it.”

Her daughter, also named Catherine Mack, 61, said, “It was an unbelievable comfort to us.”

Most programs cover the full cost of any in-home care that’s needed (home health care nurses or companions who help older people bathe and dress), as well more intensive long-term services (rehabilitation, assisted living or nursing home care) at no extra cost and with no waiting period.

After Marjorie Rittenhouse, 77, of Painesville, Ohio, came home after foot surgery several years ago, “someone was there 24/7 for seven days,” she said. “It was all arranged — and I didn’t pay anything.”

At Kendal at Home, in Westlake, Ohio, (launched in 2004), where Ms. Rittenhouse belongs, members also get a thorough fitness assessment, a home assessment to identify changes needed to age in place safely (like grab bars in the bathroom and extra lighting) and a home maintenance assessment to figure out what work needs to be done on a house or an apartment (a new furnace? turn up the temperature in the fridge?), said Lynne Giacobbe, executive director.

Tiered plans with varying levels of benefits are common. The most expensive cover services 100 percent; others can require a co-payment of up to 30 percent for assisted living or nursing home care. Operators say that the most expensive plans are the most popular, because people want the extra protection. When long-term care is necessary, it’s typically provided in the assisted living or nursing home section of a continuing care retirement center with which the program is affiliated.

All programs require that members have health insurance, whether from a private employer or Medicare with supplemental coverage included. If someone has long-term care insurance, rates are discounted. Programs will arrange in-home meals, physical therapy or transportation to medical appointments, as medically required.

Most let members go to health clubs and social events at associated continuing care retirement centers without charge.

So what’s the catch, you’re thinking?

Here’s the most important one: To join, older people have to be healthy and functioning at a high level independently. If you’ve got any kind of serious chronic health condition, you probably won’t qualify. That’s the only way programs like this can work: by excluding people with immediate health needs, including any indicator of dementia, and doing everything possible to make sure that people stay healthy and at home as long as possible instead of needing institutional care.

“The screening process is much more stringent than for people who move to our campuses,” said Victor Amey, president and chief executive of Cadbury Senior Services, which operates two continuing care retirement centers, as well as the program that serves Ms. Mack in Haddon Township.

In checking around, I found one exception to this general rule. The Alexian Live at Home Program in Chattanooga, Tenn., which began in 2002, will take people with mild dementia or cognitive problems who are otherwise in good health for its “bronze” plan, which pays 70 percent of the cost of in-home services but excludes assisted living or nursing home care.

The very feature that makes these kinds of programs so attractive – relatively low entry fees and reasonable monthly fees – could become a problem if more members than expected become ill and need care, and available funds aren’t sufficient. So have a lawyer look over the contract carefully to see what rights you have if services are denied or withheld. I didn’t hear about this problem, but it’s a possibility worth your attention.

Why aren’t there more programs of this kind?

“The focus of the senior housing industry has been on bricks and mortar,” not community-based services, said Stephen Maag, director of residential communities for LeadingAge, an industry association. “But we’re now getting a recognition there is a significant market out there of people we haven’t been serving, and that represents an opportunity.”

In some states, laws that govern continuing care retirement centers didn’t allow for these kinds of services and had to be changed. Efforts are under way, or have already succeeded, in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Virginia, according to a paper on the centers that Mr. Maag prepared in February.

Would a “C.C.R.C. without walls” program appeal to you? Do you know of anyone who has had a negative experience in these programs? What concerns do you have, and what questions would you like answered?

 

World Alzheimer’s Day

We are wearing purple today to show our support.

September 21st is World Alzheimer’s Day. Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and efforts to address the nation’s sixth leading cause of death.

Kingsley Kaminer, Cameron Kempson, Kristen Suttles

Facts about Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia among older adults. It involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language and can seriously affect a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.
  • Although not a normal part of aging, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases with age. Most individuals with Alzheimer’s disease are over the age of 65. However, people younger than age 65 also can develop Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Scientists do not know what causes Alzheimer’s disease, but it is believed that it is similar to other chronic conditions and develops as a result of multiple factors rather than a single cause.

Global Alzheimer’s Disease

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 18 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s disease. By 2025, this estimate is projected to grow to 34 million people, with the highest increase expected among developing countries.

Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States

  • It is currently estimated that approximately 2.6 million to 5.2 million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s disease, depending upon the approach used for identifying individuals with dementia.
  • If no cure is developed and present population trends continue, as many as 16 million individuals may have Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2050.
  • Alzheimer’s disease ranks as the 6th leading cause of death among adults aged 18 years and older, and is the 5th leading cause of death for adults aged 65 years and older.
  • For people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, the total payments for health care, long-term care, and hospice are projected to increase from $183 billion in 2011 to $1.1 trillion in 2050 (in 2011 U.S. dollars).

Current Efforts

A coordinated approach involving public and private partners is needed to address Alzheimer’s disease and its devastating effects on individuals, families, and the health care system. There are several new and existing activities currently underway. Some of these efforts are described below. Read More

Charles Lea Center of Spartanburg SC is Utilizing Supportive Technology to Serve Individuals With Greater Independence, Better Outcomes and Increased Cost Effectiveness

With the use of SimplyHome technology, the Charles Lea Center of Spartanburg, South Carolina is able to serve disabled individuals who would otherwise be on ever-growing waiting list.

Asheville, NC (PRWEB) July 25, 2012

As Medicaid provider budgets become increasingly constrained, remote monitoring technology is emerging as a way to control costs and improve service outcomes. Supportive living environments can be managed by technology that detects potential problems such as falls, missed medications, cooking safety, and elopement.

The same support systems that allow staff to attend to individual concerns also enable consumers to live with greater choice and build skills of independent living. As funding sources realize cost savings through effective programs, they are able to serve individuals who would otherwise be on ever-growing waiting lists.

SimplyHome partner, The Charles Lea Center of Spartanburg, SC, recently celebrated the grand opening of its new Life Skills Center. An apartment within the training center is outfitted with SimplyHome technology.

“The partnership with SimplyHome has enabled people with disabilities to live as we do, independently,” says Jeff Ballenger, the Charles Lea Center Sr. Director of Residential Supports. The Life Skills Center is a hands-on training facility that prepares adults with special needs for residential and community independence.

“We believe this is just the beginning of a shift in how providers will utilize technology in their service models,” says Allen Ray, SimplyHome CEO. “The Charles Lea Center’s willingness to be the front runner for the use of our technology in a program setting has allowed them to serve more people with the funds that are available.”

The Charles Lea Center already partners with SimplyHome to provide technology in their residential support programs to enable independent living. The SimplyHome System placed in the Life Skills Center is an accurate replica of how technology is currently being utilized in their independent living program.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

 

New Charles Lea Center Facility Helps Clients With Independent Living Skills

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 3:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 28, 2012 at 3:36 p.m.

Zane Garrick can’t wait until June.

Confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy, the 39-year-old will finally move into his first home.

Once there, he will be able to open and close doors, control the TV and lights, and cook by himself. He will live more independently than ever before.

“I’m excited,” Garrick said. “I want to be able to keep moving. I like being able to do things by myself.”

But before Garrick can make this big move, he has to acquire the skills needed to live on his own.

To do this, he is using a new 12,000-square-foot facility inside the Charles Lea Center.

With a simulated market, bank, restaurant, doctor’s and dentist’s office, apartment building and more, the Life Skills Center gives adults with special needs, like Garrick, hands-on experience with various real-life situations.

“They can practice things here and get good at them, so when they move into an apartment or home, they will already be familiar with everything,” said Dr. Jerry Bernard, executive director of the Charles Lea Center.

All of the environments were designed to look as real as possible. The lobby of the facility resembles an outdoor setting, with plant life and faux grass, streetlights and crosswalks. The bricks that seem to run up and down the walls are actually vinyl siding. A van is parked inside to let participants practice boarding and exiting a vehicle. It was donated by a local dealership.

The training rooms, including the grocery store, restaurant and bank, face the “outdoorsy” lobby area, which resembles a stretch of downtown businesses.

“We are trying to create a realistic idea of what downtown looks like,” Bernard said. “The whole idea here is to role-play a lot of things, like a simulation. The ones that work well are the ones that are realistic.”

The market area contains real groceries so the adults can practice shopping; the doctor’s office contains a waiting room, a dentist’s chair and a doctor’s chair. It’s designed to help people combat their fears and apprehension regarding going to the doctor or dentist.

Beside the restaurant, which resembles a Zaxby’s, an ATM machine is attached to the wall. While it doesn’t actually spit out money, “people can slide the card in and put in their number,” Bernard said. “Some of the things we do naturally, some of our folks need to be reminded.”

Those who use the facility can also get acquainted with some state-of-the-art technology by SimplyHome, a North Carolina-based company.

SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products geared toward the aging and disabled.

“This is where we are going,” said Jeff Ballenger, senior director of residential services. “We are taking this environment and mimicking it in some of our existing housing.”

The Charles Lea Center currently has about 370 people living in residential apartments and homes throughout the Upstate.

Seated in a wheelchair inside the apartment area at the Life Skills Center, Garrick controlled the doors, the TV, the lights, the front door and a bed simply by touching an iPad. With each touch of the screen, a large smile appeared on his face as objects in the room responded to his commands.

“This means a lot to me,” he said. “It makes me happy.”

When Garrick moves into his Cowpens home in June with three other buddies who also have special needs, the device will no longer be on an iPad; it will be permanently attached to his wheelchair.

A staff worker will live with them at all times to provide assistance if needed, but Bernard says the device will give the residents a lot more independence.

“If the staff person is in the kitchen making hamburgers or whatever and someone wants to change the TV, they can do it without having to wait for someone to do it for them,” he said.

Lois Durrah, director of Charles Lea Center’s day services, says the technology is also great for residents’ families.

“Families now have the reassurance that the person is not going to just be there and helpless — they are capable,” she said. “They can be out on their own and they’re happy and they’re safe and they are so much more independent.”

Garrick says the technology will also remind him when to take his medicine.

Transforming an area that was once occupied by conference rooms into the Life Skills Center took six months and cost about $70,000. The majority was paid for with grants, and the rest was funded by donations.

The original vision consisted of a restaurant, a food store and doctor’s office, but Michael Burnett, a Charles Lea Center employee who helped construct the facility, kept adding details.

The entrance hallway into the facility is covered wall to wall with sights of downtown Spartanburg. A local print-making company enlarged photographs and placed them on the walls.

“We are really excited,” Bernard said. “I think this is a great resource for our community, and it will really help more people move into more independent housing.”

Full ArticleImageImage

SimplyHome Receives Bronze Medal Edison Award for “Best New Product”

Edison Awards Honors SimplyHome for Innovation in Business with Bronze Medal 2012 Best New Product Award, Lifestyle and Social Impact Category, for The SimplyHome System™

Asheville, N.C. April 27, 2012

The SimplyHome System™ by SimplyHome, LLC was announced as a Bronze Medal winner for “Best New Product” at the 2012 Edison Awards Gala in New York City. 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. The SimplyHome System™ is a winner in the “Lifestyle and Social Impact” category, one of fifteen categories honored by the Edison Awards.

The annual Edison Awards Gala was held in New York City Thursday, April 26th in the historic ballroom of New York’s famed Capitale.

“We are honored to receive an Edison Award,” said Allen Ray, CEO of SimplyHome. “I think the true innovation of the SimplyHome System™ technology is that it is people-centered and outcome driven. Making technology mean something – to impact individual lives –that’s the heart of what we strive to do.”

The SimplyHome System™ utilizes multiple sensors to log activities of daily living and proactively notify caregivers and loved ones of changes in behavioral patterns. Text, email or phone alerts can be generated by a single event, an intersection of multiple events or by inactivity.  Assigned family or caregivers may log in to their SimplyHome account to view activity and trends in daily living patterns.

Components like motion sensors, door and window contacts, and bed pressure pads address issues including falls, wandering, and sleep routines. The SimplyHome System™ can also monitor wellness priorities ranging from blood pressure and glucose levels, to weight and medication management.

“Our goal with the SimplyHome System is to address priorities like safety, affordability, and quality of life in support of independent living,” said Allen Ray, CEO of SimplyHome.

The Edison Awards are named after Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) whose extraordinary new product development methods and innovative achievements garnered him 1,093 U.S. patents and made him a household name around the world.  The ballot of nominees for the Edison Best New Product Awards™ is judged by a panel of more than 3,000 individuals, including members of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), an organization comprising America’s top marketing professionals and academics. The panel also includes professionals from the fields of product development & design, engineering, science and education.

This year, the nominees were judged on a new set of evaluation criteria developed in partnership with Nielsen. These new criteria establish a new definition of innovation, leveraging the primary themes of Concept, Value, Impact and Delivery.

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 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: www.simply-home.com .

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.

###

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.

VIEW FULL PRESS RELEASE

Meet Michael Doornbos: SimplyHome’s Newest Addition

SimplyHome Hires Michael Doornbos as Product Designer

As product designer at SimplyHome, Mr. Doornbos is responsible for managing multiple internal and external product development projects, overseeing operations and managing the organization’s upcoming wireless technology suite designed for the empowerment of independent living.

Michael is the founder and podcast host at Evadot.com and founder of SpaceUp DC. Michael is a technologist, software designer, security consultant, speaker, writer and podcaster.

For 15 years, Michael has been founding software companies, designing and building data centers, performing security analysis, rolling out citywide cellular networks, and developing software. Michael is the recognized expert in the Google Lunar X PRIZE and is often sought after for strategic consulting in the emerging commercial space and technology industries.  He is the author of the forthcoming book series called “A New Kind of Hero.”

Michael’s addition to the SimplyHome team will bring an expertise in developing products that enhance the quality of life for people seeking to live with independence.

“We are excited to add Michael as an integral part of our team. He brings a wealth of experience to SimplyHome as a technology expert, and just as importantly a communicator of ideas to a wide audience. His ability to understand user stories and translate that into a technological solution set will enable us to further enhance the lives of those we are honored to serve,” said Allen Ray, president and CEO of SimplyHome.

Michael is a speaker at this weekend’s South By Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas; he is giving a talk entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence Space exploration.”

About SimplyHome

SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products and related care-focused services. The company is committed to promoting affordable and dignified options 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: www.simply-home.com .

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.

Fundraiser a Success

Thanks for Supporting No Place Like Home

With the help of local food trucks like The Lowdown, Ursa Minor, Pink Taco, and the Gypsy Queen, along with Scenedipity, and all of you who came out, the SimplyHomeTown Food Truck Fundraiser was truly a success.

All donations received benefited No Place Like Home and have been matched by SimplyHome. Also given were two No Buttons Headsets — enabling totally hands-free, voice command texting, emailing and phone calls.

No Place Like Home is a charitable partnership between SimplyHome & Eblen Charities that promotes independent living by providing assistive technology to local senior adults and people with disabilities.

Please see video below of the drawing for  food truck gift certificate winners.

SimplyHome Returns to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with Second Appearance of the Season

PRWeb News Center

Assistive Technology Leader, SimplyHome, makes second appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition this Friday, January 6, 2012 at 8pm EST, with the Gibbs Family episode.

Asheville, N.C. (PRWEB) January 04, 2012

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 marks SimplyHome’s second appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition this season and premieres Friday, January 6, 2012 at 8pm EST.

“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.”

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 was asked 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.

“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.”

About SimplyHome

SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products and related care-focused services. The company is committed to promoting affordable and dignified options 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 .

About Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

The Emmy award-winning reality program ”Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” now in its 9th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive-produced by Brady Connell and George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET on ABC.

###

To view full press release, please visit:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/1/prweb9057057.htm

A SimplyHomeTown Food Truck Fundraiser Flyer

Eat at Local Food Trucks and Celebrate SimplyHome’s Second Appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Asheville, N.C. – December 30, 2011

Asheville-based assistive technology company, SimplyHome returns to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 8pm EST, with the Gibbs Family episode and will mark the occasion with “A SimplyHomeTown Food Truck Fundraiser.”

In the spirit of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and in celebration of their second appearance on the show, SimplyHome, is sponsoring the event to raise funds for No Place Like Home.

Formed earlier this year, No Place Like Home is a charitable partnership between SimplyHome & Eblen Charities that promotes independent living by providing assistive technology to local senior adults and people with disabilities.

Throughout the week of the show, SimplyHome will match all donations made to No Place Like Home through participating Asheville area food trucks. “A SimplyHomeTown Food Truck Fundraiser” will run from Tuesday, January 3rd through Sunday, January 8th, during lunch and dinner hours.

To learn more about No Place Like Home or to make a donation, please visit: www.eblencharities.org.

Visit the “A SimplyHomeTown Food Truck Fundraiser” website at: noplace.simply-home.com to follow the food trucks and their locations. Check in January 3rd for the exact locations of participating food trucks.

About SimplyHome

SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products and related care-focused services. The company is committed to promoting affordable and dignified options 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: www.simply-home.com.

About Eblen Charities

Founded in 1991, Eblen Charities is a non-profit organization whose outreach extends throughout the counties of western North Carolina and through its numerous programs has helped thousands upon thousands of families each year with medical and emergency assistance.

For more information about Eblen Charities, visit: www.eblencharities.org.

###Media Only Contact:

Katherine Branch

of SimplyHome

+1-828-684-8441

Katherine.Branch@simplyhome-cmi.com

Assistive Technology Leader, SimplyHome, Establishes New Niche with Appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

SimplyHome’s Products and Services, From Environmental Controls to Virtual Care Management, Provide Independence and Improved Communication to Aging and Disabled Populations.

Asheville, NC (PRWEB) December 28, 2011

Following the recent premiere of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition featuring Brian Keefer and his family,SimplyHome received an overwhelming response from paralyzed and disabled people nationwide. Though each caller’s condition varied, the message remained the same: they had never seen anything like what SimplyHome provided for Brian, or even knew it was a possibility.

SimplyHome has established a new niche in the Assistive Technology industry with an array of products and services that promote residential independence. SimplyHome’s commitment to personalized care, specifically to aging and disabled populations, led the Asheville-based company to design flexible wireless technologies. As a result individuals can make proactive choices regarding daily living activities, environmental control and personal wellness.

“All of our customers receive a personal assessment so that we can customize products that fit their specific needs,” said Jason Ray, VP of Business Development at SimplyHome. “The voice-activated cell phone, lighting, bed controls, TV, drink dispenser, and door openers – everything we provided for Brian – came directly from our assessments with him and his family.”

In addition to the environmental controls that SimplyHome can program in customers’ tablets or computers, the company offers a combination of products and services ranging from home automation and electronic aids to remote monitoring and Virtual Care Management®.

Of special interest to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition viewers was SimplyHome’s new product, the No-Buttons Headset, which offers modern Bluetooth technology while enabling the user to make calls independently. The No-Buttons headset accesses the user’s phone and its built-in voice commands without having to push any buttons; the on/off button is activated when the headset passes over a magnet. These headsets are especially helpful for people who are quadriplegic, have arthritis, ALS, cerebral palsy, or any other physical disability that makes it difficult to push a button.

“At SimplyHome, we are passionate about supporting people living independently, and we have translated that commitment to consumer care into innovative technology,“ said Allen Ray, CEO of SimplyHome.

Ray adds, “We founded this business because we care about people; technology just happened to offer us the solutions we were looking for. Our job is to listen to our customers then create systems that are individualized to their priorities and concerns. We’re about more than technology—we are committed to personalized care.”

About SimplyHome

SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products and related care-focused services. The company is committed to promoting affordable and dignified options 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.

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

###

To view full press release, please go to:

http://www.prweb.com/releases/SimplyHomeExtremeMakeover/12/prweb9059713.htm

SimplyHome’s Second Appearance on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Scheduled to Air Friday, January 6th

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Logo

Save The Date & Set Your DVR!

We are honored to have been asked to appear again on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and to design and install custom technology for Audrey Gibbs and her family for this special show.

In conjunction with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,

  SimplyHome invites you to tune in on

Friday, January 6th

8/7C on

  for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Friday Night Premiere

STARRING


The Gibbs Family from Iowa

   Ty, Paulie & the EMHE Gang 

and The Staff of SimplyHome

Stay tuned for more about our latest experience with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Last summer, SimplyHome worked with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to create a customized system of voice-activated environmental controls and additional supports for Brian Keefer and his family.
To learn more about SimplyHome  and Brian Keefer, please visit:

http://www.simply-home.com/extreme/

Rick Bahr Wins 2011 Ethics in Business Award, Individual Category

Chief Operations Officer at Innovative Services Inc., Nation’s Largest Provider of SimplyHome Technologies, Is Honored For His Work With People With Disabilities.

December 15, 2011

Rick Bahr, Chief Operations Officer of Innovative Services Inc. (ISI), is named winner of the American Foundation of Counseling Services (AFCS) 2011 Ethics in Business Awards in the individual category. Each year, the American Foundation of Counseling Services (AFCS) of Green Bay, Wisconsin acknowledges one individual, one business, and one non-profit organization for business ethics.

With the Ethics in Business Awards, the AFCS aims to raise funds for under- and uninsured people in need of mental health services, raise awareness of people and organizations in the Green Bay area who are committed to high ethical standards, and to raise awareness of the AFCS itself.

Bahr advocates for social responsibility through the appropriate use of taxpayer money by setting rates at ISI that ensure fair pay for quality services. Bahr believes that ethical behavior can be practiced every day, in business and in our personal lives.

Innovative Services Inc. provides flexible, accessible and family centered supports and services to developmentally disabled and special needs consumers in Wisconsin, and was the recipient of the Ethics in Business Award, in the business category, in 2009. As the largest provider of SimplyHome technologies in the nation, ISI utilizes assistive technology to provide cost-effective supports that promote independence for its consumers.

“The American Foundation of Counseling Services has done a wonderful job supporting ethical business practices and healthy communities in Northeast Wisconsin. I am truly honored to receive this award,” said Bahr.

About SimplyHome

SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products and related care-focused services. The company is committed to promoting affordable and dignified options 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 and drink dispensers (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: www.simply-home.com.

###Media Only Contact:

Katherine Branch

of SimplyHome

+1-828-684-8441

Katherine.Branch@simplyhome-cmi.com

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