DAVENPORT, Iowa — St. Ambrose University is unveiling a Virtual Demonstration and Training Site for Home Independence at Jim’s Place, which is a home with assistive technology for people with disabilities. The Virtual Demonstration and Training Site can be viewed online at www.sau.edu/virtualjimsplace.
Jim’s Place, which opened in 2011, is named after Jim O’Rourke, who became disabled after a spinal cord injury in the 1960’s. His family wanted to have access to learn about helping Jim live independently in his own home while being safe and engaged in life.
The virtual demonstration makes it available for people with disabilities to explore the home’s features from anywhere in the world.
The model home, located at 2126 Brown Street in Davenport, Iowa is on the west side of St. Ambrose University.
According to a press release from St. Ambrose, the Virtual Demonstration and Training Site for Home Independence was funded through a $185,234 grant by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs “with a goal of allowing veterans from across the United States, especially those with war-related disabilities, to discover ways to continue living in their own homes with the use of adaptive solutions and new technologies.”
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, a democrat who represents Iowa’s second congressional district assisted with the grant process.
“With the price of nursing homes approaching $70,000 if we can show people how they can stay in their own home and to be safe and prosper everyone wins,” Jon Turnquist, Director of Jim’s Place and Assistant Clinical Professor at St. Ambrose University, said.
Inside the home, there is a height-adjustable sink, elevator and ceiling lift system as well as other features.
“Think about the care givers,” Turnquist said, “Sometimes the caregivers take so much of the brunt of the care for individuals every time we empower the client their care givers then, de-power and it lessens the burden on them.”
The homes serves as a training site for St. Ambrose students. The public is invited, by appointment, to visit the home and see what solutions are available.