Video tour: AAHSA’s technological marvel—the ‘Idea House’

This week at the AAHSA Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago, I had the eye-opening pleasure of touring the 2,600-square-foot AAHSA ‘Idea House,’ where “technology, universal design, and environmentally friendly construction come together to transform aging.” The open air prototype, designed by THW Design, was built outside the exhibit hall.

It is a technological wonder, from the $8,000 toilet that raises and lowers depending on the height of the user and has two flushing speeds—one for solid waste and one for liquid—to the $6,000 robot seal that is used to calm dementia patients. The little guy actually breathes and moves its head and body, its white fur is warm and soft, and it can learn its name!

Other useful adaptations include: a desk, cabinets, and cupboards that raise and lower for ease of use; a doorbell connected to the TV so one can see who’s at the door before it’s answered; an airy portico that could easily be the center of activity in the home; wide doorways and openings; a medicine dispenser that will dispense medicines when they need to be taken and will remind the resident to take them; and the latest in furniture and beds, including one that lowers all the way to the floor and then has cushions around the mattress to prevent rolling.

This is a house that one could age in place in without ever having to move. And the computer technology! It was mind-boggling. There’s no doubt in my mind; the AAHSA ‘Idea House’ showed me the future is here.

– Maureen Hrehocik, Editor

Video by Kevin Kolus, Associate Editor/Online Editor

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