Expat Innovations: Using Smart Technology to Make Your Home More Accessible
So, you have scored housing abroad. Congrats on passing one of the most difficult steps that most expats encounter. Now, you will likely want to ensure that all of your friends and family can visit your new home. You might be stunned to learn that 80 million people all over Europe live with disabilities. However, due to a 2016 vote, all buildings, shops and public transport in the Netherlands must be accessible for people with disabilities, making it one of Europe’s most accessible countries.
To continue ensuring the country is a diverse place for all visitors and residents, you can make your home more accessible, which is really a matter of practicality and innovation. By understanding how to weave smart technology into your home in an effective way, you can increase its value, add to its comfort and make it a more welcoming place for people of all countries, cultures and abilities.
The State of Accessibility in the Netherlands
Due to the 2016 ruling that all public spaces must be accessible for people with disabilities, the country has seen an increase in the number of facilities offering accessible designs. When travelling through the Netherlands, or when showing your friends and family around as they visit, you will find everything to be very accessible. NS, the Dutch national railway company, has special facilities in place to ensure that your journey is as comfortable as possible. Many theme parks and amusement parks such as De Efteling, Madurodam and Walibi World are also very accessible, with some offering special tours. This is a great way to introduce someone to the city before taking them home to enjoy your accessible space.
Innovative Tech Increases Mobility & Accessibility in Homes
From the Amazon Echo to Google Home, voice-controlled hubs are now acting as personal in-home assistants that can be used to remotely control various aspects, such as lighting, music, calling, and messaging. Not only is this a really cool feature to add to your home in order to increase its value, it can assist people who have trouble with mobility. The ability to turn off a light, turn on an appliance or even message a family member simply with your voice is a great in-home feature to have for someone who struggles with walking, standing or even dexterity. If you are still wary about investing in this smart accessible technology, just consider that 81% of current smart-home device owners say they would be more willing to buy a home with connected tech already built in.
Smart Home Features That Increase Safety
It is helpful to have smart locks installed in your home to keep a log of who is entering and exiting your living space. This is great for people who travel a lot or who might have limited mobility and cannot get up out of bed or their wheelchair to let someone in the front door. A smart lock will allow you to give access to guests, permit temporary access or even limit the days of the week and times people can enter. Again, great for expats who do a lot of travelling and need to allow people to enter their home to feed pets or bring in the post. Installing a smart doorbell like the Ring Smart is a wonderful asset to have in the home as
High-Tech Innovations Leading to High-Quality Lives
Whether you, a family member or any guest of yours lives with a disability or not, taking time to invest in the innovation of your home pays off. Should you find yourself travelling for long periods of time and needing to let someone in your front door remotely or simply want to ensure guests from all over the world can access the wonderful space you have created inside your home, smart technology and accessibility features can add value as well as comfort.
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