First Family in North Carolina to Get Technology Funded Through the Innovations Waiver

The Dankners' Story We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with a customer who happens to be the first person in the state of North Carolina to receive our assistive technology funded through the Innovations Waiver. Lisa Dankner is the mother of Natalie Dankner who is a 26-year-old women living with autism and using SimplyHome technology to remain as independent as possible.

In our discussion, we talked about the specifics of the system components they are using, the rules that are set and what concerns are being addressed.

“My husband travels, and this system has been a godsend in terms of having more of a normal life,” says Lisa.

The system was installed in the Dankner’s home is January of 2012. They are using a combination of door/window sensors, water sensors, smoke sensors and a pendant to control when the system is on and off to monitor Natalie’s safety when it comes to some of her behaviors.

“It’s our day that is different,” says Lisa.

Some of Natalie’s behaviors that are of concern are leaving the home without anyone knowing, lighting things on fire using the kitchen stove, and flooding the home. Natalie has had a history of clogging the toilets. Lisa says they have spent thousands in repairs already and are now able get a notification before it is too late.

“Sleeping at night was difficult because Natalie gets up at all times of the day and night. With the SimplyHome System, I feel confident, with the settings we have, she wouldn’t be out the door long before we would be woken. It actually allows me to have normal sleep,” says Lisa.

Funding For Technology

Lisa spoke about the challenges she has had with Medicaid and what she has learned during the process. “Hopefully we are leading the way for other people in the state to be able to experience the benefits of using SimplyHome technology,” Lisa said.

After Natalie was approved for the Innovations Waiver, Natalie’s case manager submitted a system recommendation to the state for approval for the assistive technology. The challenge is often giving a vision to funders as to how sensor tools can create improved safety and independence. Lisa has been an amazing advocate for her daughter and did not stop fighting when times got tough.

Natalie is now a productive member of the community - working, volunteering, shopping, going to church and living as every human being should, with dignity and independence.

Natalie is passionate about being an independent young woman. Lisa says her daughter's autism has been "a life long learning process." She is committed to finding what solutions give Natalie maximum independence.