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Funded by Grant #08-201 of the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund, administered by VA Department of Rehabilitative Services. The WWRC Smart Cottage. Environmental AT for People with Disabilities Tony Gentry, PhD OTR/L. Funded by Grant #08-201 of the

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The WWRC Smart Cottage

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The wwrc smart cottage

Funded by Grant #08-201 of the

Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund,

administered by VA Department of Rehabilitative Services.

The WWRC Smart Cottage

  • Environmental AT for People with Disabilities

  • Tony Gentry, PhD OTR/L

Smart homes

Funded by Grant #08-201 of the

Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund,

administered by VA Department of Rehabilitative Services.

Why smart homes

Why Smart Homes?

  • We live there.

  • Safety & Security.

  • Health.


  • Functional independence begins at home.



  • Low-tech environmental organizers

  • Mid-tech appliances (alarm clock, kitchen timer)

  • Electronic Aids to Daily Living (lighting/appliance control)

  • Safety features (fire, smoke, water, injury alarm)

  • Task Cueing (PDA, pc, pillbox, lighting cues)

  • Cognitive Remediation (Wii and pc games)

Smart homes

Living Room

Smart homes


Smart homes


Smart homes


Smart homes

Bedroom Sink

Smart homes


Smart homes


Safety options

Safety options

  • Bathroom tub bench, rails, hot water control

  • Stoveguard - turns off stove if kitchen unoccupied

  • Water leak alarms

  • Medic-alert bracelet

  • Voice-prompt fire alarm

  • Motion-controlled lighting

  • Telephone and calling schedule

  • Training in emergency management

Task cueing options

Task Cueing Options

  • PDA calendar alarm

  • Reminder pillbox

  • PC onscreen prompt

  • Kitchen timer/alarm clark

  • Automated light blink

Environmental management

Environmental Management

  • De-clutter -- “a place for everything...."

  • Drawer dividers

  • Closet dividers

  • Divided clothes hamper on wheels

  • Washing machine directions

  • Refrigerator file

  • Food expiration tag



  • Equipment Total: $3200

    • pc and EADL software: $600

    • Motion-controlled lighting: $500

    • Low-tech/mid-tech appliances: $500

    • Insteon pc-controlled lighting: $400

    • Video-cam for front door: $400

    • Stoveguard: $360

    • Nintendo Wii and Brain Age: $310

    • Palm z-22 pda: $100

Other costs

Other Costs:

  • Electrician to install motion-controlled lighting and Insteon wall switches (8 hours)

  • Therapist to assess client needs, collaborate with client in selection, installation, training and follow-along (will vary widely)

  • Replacement and upgrade costs of products (estimate over ten years)



  • “That Stoveguard saved my life!”

  • “The Palm pilot really keeps me on schedule.”

  • “I feel safe here, even though I’m by myself.”

  • “Having the lights turn on and off saves energy and helps me see when I come home after dark.”

  • “At first it was a little spooky, but I got used to it.”

  • The water alarm went off and kept me from flooding the basement when I was washing my clothes.”

  • “I used the pillbox to schedule my blood pressure tests, too.”

  • “The Wii games are fun and keep me using my brain.”

Ot comments

OT Comments:

  • “We are learning the equipment, too, which takes time.”

  • “The safety alarms have saved the house at least 3 times already.”

  • “I wish they had more time in the house, to experiment with different strategies and really get the hang of it.”

  • “This house is like a lab, where we can try out stuff that may work at home.”

  • “These things will work for our spinal cord clients, too.”

Next steps

Next Steps:

  • Smart Suites in new wing of WWRC

  • Smart apartment and suites at McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center

  • Smart apartments at Faison School for Autism

  • Collaborate with “Blue Roof” and other smart technology teams to provide service to Virginians

  • Include passive-monitoring options for aging in place and off-site caregiver communication

Monitoring options

Monitoring Options:

  • Quiet-Care (

    • Wireless motion sensors/changes in routine noted

  • e-Neighbor (

    • motion sensors/telehealth/medic-alert

  • Grandcare (

    • set-top box on tv acts as communicator and control center for remote sensors












Cook, A.M. & Hussey, S.M. (2002). Assistive Technologies: Principles and practice. St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

Gentry, T. (in press). Smart homes for people with neurological disability: State of the art. NeuroRehabilitation.

Smart homes

Tony Gentry, PhD OTR/LAssistant ProfessorDept. of Occupational TherapyDirector, Assistive Technology for Cognition LaboratoryVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond, VA 828-3397Paula Martin, OTWoodrow Wilson Rehabilitation CenterDepartment of Occupational TherapyPO Box 1500Fishersville, VA

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