The Road to Independence.
As Nancy and Joseph Savoie have watched their son Luke over the years, they realized that their comfortable two-storey Winnipeg home was limiting his ability for independence. Luke uses a power wheelchair and does not have the ability to do everyday tasks we all take for granted. He must rely on his parents and caregivers to help him operate devices, like the microwave or television, or to simply turn things on and off.
“Luke used to call us for assistance
5-10 times an hour.”
- Nancy Savoie
Simple tasks can become herculean for wheelchair users without the help of caregivers. This is why Luke's dad, Joseph, encouraged him to attend the Prairie Seating Workshop, a local seating and mobility conference, to see what new innovations were on the horizon. This conference changed their lives for the better when Luke and his father were introduced to HANA™.
"Shortly after arriving at the conference, an Occupational Therapist who knew that I like to try stuff out found me, and she said, 'If you like to try new things, you should come and check this out,’” said Luke. This was Luke’s first introduction to HANA™.
HANA™ is not an individual, but a specialized home automation platform for those who need assistance in controlling their home environment and simple everyday tasks. HANA™ stands for Home Access Network Assistant. The team of technologists from Norima Innovations were at the conference demonstrating HANA™ capabilities with the ultimate goal of enlisting the help of a few early adopters.
Love at First Sight
As Luke approached the exhibit, the Norima team quickly offered Luke the opportunity to try the technology. Through a few simple voice commands, Luke was able to operate lights, turn on and off a fan, and even adjust the tilt of a power bed.
Joseph recalls Luke’s first experience with HANA™: “Seeing the expression on his face and how excited he was to be able to do a lot of things more independently was really fantastic.”
HANA™ can assist its users in controlling lights, appliances, beds, phones, and televisions from a power wheelchair and/or bed. Using a scanning menu, voice control, and/or shortcut activation, HANA™ allows for unparalleled mobility and independence.
“[Norima] actually allowed me to try HANA™ right then and there, and it worked perfectly. When I came home from seeing HANA™, I told my mom about it and funny thing is we were trying to brainstorm about something like HANA™ and here she [HANA™] was. I went into my room and started to cry because I knew it would change my life.”
- Luke Savoie
An Early Adopter
The Norima Innovations team contacted Luke in early 2016. Luke was one of the early adopters of HANA™, and he helped the team at Norima Innovations refine the technology and get it ready for market.
“HANA™ has affected my life in so many different and good ways. I cannot even describe [the ways] it has affected my life,” said Luke.
Nancy, Luke’s mom, described how the experience has changed their lives. “For us, it’s meant we don’t have to be around to do things for him all the time, and that has made a huge difference. One time, before we had HANA™, we had been out for about 10 minutes and came home just as the sun was going down, and we found Luke sitting in the dark. Now, Luke has more freedom. He’s going to be able to turn the lights on by himself.”
Just recently, Luke’s wheelchair lift that gets him to his basement rec room has been added to the list of devices on Luke's HANA™ home network.
Joseph shared what that addition on the home network has meant. "It’s the first time since we’ve had the lift, which we got in 2009, that Luke has actually been able to go downstairs on his own because he could never back onto the lift and push the buttons. That’s a fantastic thing, and it has given him a lot more freedom.”
“I’ve had a lift, and I can’t press the button, so I had to call on my mom and dad constantly if I ever wanted to go downstairs," said Luke. "It was like, to be honest with you, living in a one-floor house. With the option of a second floor, I can go up and down as I please with the freedom of feeling like a normal individual who lives in a normal house.”
Luke, his family, and a number of other early adopters are aiding Norima Innovations as they make their final preparations for market.
“Giving Luke the ability to be more independent gives us more peace of mind. Now he can be left alone for longer periods of time in a safe environment, and we don’t have to worry. That’s a huge thing for us.”
- Nancy Savoie
Watch videos of Luke using HANA™ in his own home!