Designing an enabling
Our thoughts about Fred & Gina
A slightly different structure...
• As the "ideal" solution for Fred & Gina would appear
to be a purpose-built home, which serves as an
enabling environment, the next slides will comprise a
"walk through" of such a building - beginning at the
• The technology described would work together to
comprise what is currently referred to as a ‘Smart
Home’ (or sometimes Home Automaton).
• Such homes are increasingly being used as
mainstream technology. Click here for one
commercial Smart Home planner.
Where are the keys?
If Fred & Gina are living
alone, they may lock
themselves out of their home
(leaving their keys inside).
Whilst a key safe may be
used, this relies on
remembering the pass-code.
A key-less entry system such
as the ekey overcomes this
problem, whilst maintaining
Watch the YouTube clip here
The ambient kitchen (Olivier et al, 2009)
Gina has consistently expressed a desire to live the life of a
'traditional' houswife; and she is likely, therefore, to want to be
able to engage in kitchen tasks as much as possible.
It would also be good to encourage Fred to be actively
involved in domestic tasks in the home.
Contemporary solutions such as the Ambient Kitchen move
away from simply enhancing functionality, creating an
interactive environment that allows ongoing skill development.
The Ambient Kitchen (Olivier et al, 2009)
As you explore the Ambient Kitchen's facilities, consider how the
various resources might also be of use to the previous case
scenarios that you have explored.
For example, the medication reminders embedded into the kitchen may
be of use to Brian.
Similarly, smart technology being
designed for other service-user
groups could be incorporated into
Fred & Gina's flat.
The Cognow Project, for
example, may help in training in
tasks for people with learning
disabilities, as well as dementia.
Making the living-room into an
The Cognow project mentioned earlier in this presentation (and
discussed in more detail in the last Learning Unit) may again
provide useful facilities for Fred & Gina's new home.
The Centre for Usable Home Technology has developed a
Responsive Home to test out various equipment, including a tele-
consultation facility and a TV screensaver.
However, Fred & Gina's right to privacy should be honoured -
allowing them control whether they are monitored or not.
Many of the items mentioned for previous case-studies may also
Using technology to assist
Fred does not appear to find personal care
particularly important - but he is motivated
A bathroom that includes music may
therefore encourage him to use its facilities
The video on the previous page shows a
specially-adapted shower - but these are
becoming more commercially available
(e.g. using light and sound).
Many other mainstream and sensory room
resources could be similarly employed.
Strategies for helping expenditure
One risk with making use of so much electronic technology
is that bills could increase significantly.
This problem may be exacerbated if Fred & Gina have problems
with money management.
Three strategies may help in this regard:
1. Incorporating user-friendly software into the home for skills training.
For example, try the Money Manager within the Elizabeth Fitzroy
Sensory House (please note, some service-users may not feel this
2. Using "Green" technology to create a more energy-efficient Smart
Home. The British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers
Association (BEAMA) have a useful list of technology that may help
in reducing energy costs.
3. Using a free online budget planner to help manage their finances.
Appropriate behaviour on and offline
A family home?
Fred & Gina's story may only just be beginning!
Gina has already made it clear that she wants to
have children - and any housing for the couple
must cater for this eventuality.
As a final thought, therefore, you may wish to
consider how technology could also assist Fred
& Gina (or any other disabled people) in
developing and maintaining parental roles ...