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Project Details

This project, is being carried out by a team of researchers at Liverpool John Moores University and is funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust charity. We will use new technology to study how older adults move around their homes in order to create a new architecture and design tool that can make homes safer. Comfortable and safe homes are important for independent living. However, home falls are a leading cause of injury and death. Falls are more common in older adults, as age-related changes to the body can make it harder to deal with fall hazards. For example, falls often occur following trips on raised surfaces, yet common eye conditions, such as cataracts, can make it harder to see such hazards.

 

We intend to address this issue by developing a new computer-based design approach, where designers can receive guidance on their planned design within their existing software that can generate photorealistic images of homes. We will use this technology to create images that show what an occupant would see as they move around a home. Designers could then ask what features of their design are problematic, with the computer suggesting, e.g. “based on real-world data (from this study), the floor-pattern will reduce (or increase) fall risk”. To achieve this, we will ask older adults to wear sensor technology to measure how they are moving during their everyday activities in and around their homes. We will use this information to identify areas of their homes that could be modified to improve safety.

Outcomes for the project?

Data and knowledge gained from this project will help:

  1. Provide information on how to make current participants’ individual homes safer;

  2. Reveal how to make homes safer in general;

  3. Provide new methods for architects/designers to enhance design practice, helping to make new homes safer more widely, and with long-term costs reduced because of fewer changes needed in the future.

Why have I been invited to take part?

You have been invited because you are a resident of a property owned by Johnnie Johnson Housing who have kindly agreed to act as a research partner for our project.

To support the research we designed certain criteria – we are sorry to exclude anyone but please do not participate if:

• You are not able to move around your home without the aid of an assisted device (e.g. wheelchair or walking frame)

• You have any neurological problems that affect movement (e.g. as a result of a stroke or Parkinson’s disease)

• You have severe problems with vision (e.g. macular degeneration, severe cataracts) • you have been diagnosed with dementia

Click here to find out what data collection will involve

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