SwitchIDs are not the silver bullet of home modification for the disabled. But, SwitchIDs can be one small piece to the puzzle of making life around the home a little less frustrating to those of us who need a little bit more help.
Julie Simmons cares for her developmentally disabled brother, Darrell. Every night, she sits in the living room after dinner enjoying a cup of tea and a novel to unwind. And every night, she watches Darrell cross from his bedroom into the kitchen for a snack. She pauses while he goes in order through the light switches on the wall. First, the entryway light turns off then on. Then, the closet, the living room can lighting, the wall lamp, the laundry room, and then finally the kitchen overhead light. It has become a habit and a pattern. From left to right, he switches on and off each switch until he reaches the one he wants. With the light show over, Julie returns to her book and Darrell finds a snack in the refrigerator or pantry.
It wasn’t just Darrell who struggled with the switches, though. She was slightly embarrassed because when coming home, she too would flip multiple switches just to light up the area she needed. One time, she couldn’t see the switches at all as she entered the apartment and fell over a boot, bruising her knee.
When Julie first learned of SwitchIDs she thought of her brother Darrell and his quirky routine. She decided to give them a try, and choose the Glow in the Dark option, hoping they would help her to not have another tumble. She had Darrell turn on a switch and she placed the SwitchID above the switch. He smiled, happy to help by turning on the next switch, and so on. He then instructed her to place them on other switch panels in the house, such as the bathroom, for the fan and light, and in the bedroom for his side lamp and ceiling fan.
Darrell’s nightly routine now includes him leaving his room, shutting off the light, crossing to the light panel, turning on only the kitchen light, and getting his snack. Julie smiles as Darrell shows confidence in his new routine and she can enjoy her book without multiple lights shows from Darrell’s “trial and error” switching.
It always just seemed like something to put up with, but I had no idea how much confidence it would give him to do something as simple as turn off and on a light. It seems SwitchID empowered him.
Home modifications for the disabled involve both big and small updates. SwitchIDs are an inexpensive, potentially small, but potentially big way to help. Click here to select the SwitchIDs that could make life just a little less frustrating for someone you love.