Skip Navigation

Creating Opportunities for Greater Independence

posted on Friday, November 3, 2023

Imagine a world where your loved one can thrive independently while still having access to the support they need.

You've likely met enough people in your life to know no two people are exactly alike. We each have different likes, dislikes, preferences, and life goals. Yet, for decades community-based services largely came in a "one-size fits all" model. You could receive supports in a home shared with roommates staffed 24/7 or staff could provide supports on an appointment basis. Not much was available in between.

As we spend time talking with the people we serve, we hear of life goals to live independently on their own or to have time to themselves without a staff member present. Our job, as a community-based service provider, is to help people gain the skills they need to live safely in the least restrictive environment possible, gain greater independence, and achieve their life goals.

Ever looking for solutions, close to a decade ago we started offering remote night supports for persons who expressed a desire (paired with safety skills demonstrated). The response we've received from persons served, families as well as our state and funding partners has been very positive and has inspired us to grow our tech-enabled service offerings.

We're excited to share we've received grants from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Black Hawk County Gaming Association to expand our tech-enabled services including creating our own Virtual Connection Center right here in the Cedar Valley. This will allow us to connect personalize virtual supports and services to each individual as it aligns to their goals and desires.

EPI is partnering with iLink Technologies to create even more opportunities for greater independence.

iLink Technologies is a cutting-edge platform of smart home technologies that seamlessly links homes to EPI's virtual connection center staffed by highly trained Direct Support Professionals. Empowering and accessible, iLink fosters a sense of freedom by connecting persons served to our DSPs to respond virtually or in person at the resident's discretion. Experience the joy of your loved ones thriving independently within a safety net of virtual and rapidly deployed DSPs. Here are just a few examples:

  • Example 1: Virtual DSPs can remotely help people live independently, reminding them of medication times and observing medication administration, helping coach a person to cook a meal, being virtually available for an intermittent need, and if necessary, deploying a DSP to offer in-person help.
  • Example 2: iLink equipment can alert our virtual DSPs when a resident's stove is on, but no one has been in the kitchen for a specified period of time. It will also send an alert if the wattage is too high. If these scenarios require immediate intervention, DSPs can remotely turn off the stove and coordinate the deployment of staff as needed.
  • Example 3: When someone gets up in the middle of the night for a drink of water and returns to bed promptly, this typical behavior won't cause an alert; however, if someone gets up and doesn't return within a specified period of time (based on what's typical for them), iLink equipment will alert the virtual DSP who then will remotely check-in and/or deploy in-person supports.

Now, keep in mind, there is a strong demand for our services and those we have dedicated to providing them. Technology will never replace the need for our very talented DSPs to provide in-person supports; it merely gives the person served more choice in how they'd like their services to be delivered. And by doing so, allows our DSPs to offer their support to people currently waiting for services in the community.

We have so much to share with you, please look for a series of communications around this topic.

Join us for a demonstration on November 28, within one of the following opportunities...

  • Click here to attend in-person from 1PM - 2:30PM
  • Click here to attend virtually from 1PM - 2:30PM

Please RSVP no later than November 22. In-person space is limited.