In an ever-expanding world of intelligent technology and smart solutions, it is only fitting that the healthcare sector should find a way to incorporate innovative solutions to benefit those in need of support.
Dedicated to providing the people they support with modern, future-proof living situations, the Endeavour Foundation has been working closely with Tunstall Healthcare since 2013, to offer a wide range of assistive technology (AT) to enable Australians with a disability to lead safer independent lives.
Maria Hoogstrate and Marisa Kovacevic talk about the Endeavour Foundation’s partnership with Tunstall and how implementing AT is changing the lives of the people they support and the way support is provided.
About the Endeavour Foundation
One of Queensland’s oldest charities, the Endeavour Foundation was first established in 1951. Now the organisation provides support to over 3,300 people with disabilities across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Part of the Endeavour Foundation’s offering includes specially-designed accommodation services. To date, over 20 ‘smart homes’ have been fitted out with AT for the people they support in going about their everyday lives day knowing that help is always at hand.
Building smarter homes
The Endeavour Foundation’s self-funded ‘At Home With Choices’ project aims to build modern houses for people with a disability. Each house is fitted with a Tunstall medical alarm, programmed with activity sensors including help buttons, smoke detectors, door and gate exit sensors.
What makes this type of accommodation unique is that no more than four people share each house, allowing for greater individual choice and independence.
“Fewer tenants mean that Endeavour Foundation is able to offer a person-centred, quality lifestyle to people with a disability,” says Mrs Hoogstrate. “The homes are built to high standards of accessibility, so they are suitable for people with a wide range of abilities, including physical and intellectual disability.”
Working hand in hand with Tunstall
Tunstall has been there every step of the way of the new construction projects, aiding in a smooth transition for clients and their loved ones.
“We have had a local contact who has been involved with the installation and AT set-up at a number of our new houses, which made it easy to begin using it right away,” explains Ms Kovacevic.
The Endeavour Foundation found that in comparison with other AT options, Tunstall provided services and products that were both reliable and well-suited to their requirements.
“Tunstall are willing to offer alternative design solutions, and are very easy to deal with,” adds Mrs Hoogstrate.
Taking advantage of assistive technology
Having a system of AT in place also gives added peace of mind, notifying support staff when exterior doors and gates are opened at unusual times, as well as sounding an alarm in case of a gas or water leak.
According to Mrs Hoogstrate, the AT built into the new smart homes has significantly increased the independence of people living there, in particular due to implementation of alert buttons.
“We have been able to give people the opportunity to live in contemporary new homes, shared with a smaller number of people,” she says. “The technology provides independence to people, and a safety net during the times when staff are not in the immediate vicinity.”
Responding to NDIS funding reforms
With the recent changes to funding under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Mrs Hoogstrate believed that we will see a growth in the use of AT. This is possibly due to the NDIS enabling people to have greater control over how, when and by whom their support is provided.
“We welcome this significant reform, which will ensure people with a disability are at the front and centre of disability support provision nationwide,” says Mrs Hoogstrate.
For more information on the Endeavour Foundation and the At Home With Choices program, visit endeavour.com.au and check out the News or One Endeavour magazine.