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The reality of homes fit for heroes: design challenges for rehabilitation technology at home.

By Leslie Axelrod, Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Jane Burridge, Sue Mawson, Penny Probert-Smith, Tom Rodden and Ian Ricketts


It is widely accepted that rigorous rehabilitation exercises after a stroke can help restore some functionality. However for many patients, this means exercises at home with minimal, if any, clinician support. Technologies that help motivate and promote good exercises offer significant potential but need to be designed to realistically take account of real homes and real lives of the people who have had a stroke. As part of the Motivating Mobility project, we carried out a series of visits to homes of people living with stroke and photographed their homes. In contrast to many utopian smart home scenarios, the elderly of today live in homes that were built as homes fit for heroes' but have been evolved and adapted over time and present significant challenges for the design of in-home rehabilitation technologies. These challenges include the uses and repurposing of use of rooms, attitudes to and uses of existing technologies, space available in the home, feelings about different spaces within homes and individual preferences and interests. The findings provide a set of sensitivities that will help shape and frame ongoing design work for the successful deployment of rehabilitation technologies in real homes

Publisher: Pier Professional
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1108/17549450200900014
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