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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

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

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)
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.


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