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Innovative healthcare: Model apartment for people with disabilities

The Hofer Land Care Control Center is setting up a special model apartment designed with care aspects in Ernst-Reuter-Straße in Hof: The project is being scientifically supported by the Faculty of Interdisciplinary and Innovative Sciences at Hof University of Applied Sciences on the Kronach campus. As part of an interdisciplinary project, nine students from the “Innovative Healthcare” course are working on the development of barrier-free design options and the integration of innovative technology, among other things. Consultations should be possible in the new premises from spring 2024.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Drossel (right) with the students during the first tour of the future model apartment in October. Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

The aim of the Hofer Land care control center is to provide citizens with practical and illustrative assistance on the subject of care with the model apartment. In order to achieve this for the client in good time, the project group at Hof University of Applied Sciences is currently working intensively on the implementation in two teams:

Our task is to design and procure smart technologies for the rooms in accordance with the control center’s framework specifications. From the entrance area to the bathroom, bedroom, living room and kitchen, we are looking at all living areas and trying to implement the best possible solutions for people with disabilities.”

Celine Stumpf, Project Manager

The team is advised and supported by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dietmar Wolff and Prof. Dr. Matthias Drossel.

Broad spectrum of health restrictions

The model apartment will include various illnesses such as dementia or physical disabilities, but will also be designed for hearing or visual impairments. “The aim is to cover a broad spectrum of restrictions in order to enable people to live independently in such an apartment for as long as possible in old age,” says Celine Stumpf. All kinds of technology are also being considered to make life easier – from bathtub lifts to multifunctional toilets, a wheelchair-accessible shower and radio-controlled light switches.

We want to make it possible to experience technology on site and in many places, thereby breaking down existing barriers and uncertainties.”

Sophia Markstein, deputy project manager

Identifying effective technologies

Of course, the use of technical possibilities is not random. For example, the students conduct interviews with care staff or interior designers specializing in “healing interiors” in order to obtain empirical evidence of the effectiveness of the respective technologies. Of course, technology is not everything here either: the simple removal of “tripping hazards” such as carpets will also be part of the home consultation, which will take place here in a few months using practical examples.

Opening in spring

The 105 square meter show apartment is located not far from the care control centre at Ernst-Reuter-Straße 70. It is due to be completed in spring 2024 – when it will be presented to the public with an “open day”.

Rainer Krauß

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