Information technology  

Virtual home for Alzheimer's patients

6 April 2007

A virtual home showing the best features suitable for Alzheimer's patients will be developed by the Division of Geriatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College, USA.

The virtual home will be made available on a website and will have graphics-rich information to show caregivers ways to best adapt a home for persons with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (ADRD), enhancing their safety and preserving their independence.

Most of the 4.5 million Americans with ADRD today are cared for at home, primarily by family members.

"Creating an Alzheimer's-friendly home with modifications to the kitchen, bathroom, stairs and more is one of the most important and challenging roles for the caregiver," says Rosemary Bakker, M.S., ASID, research associate in gerontologic design in medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Weill Cornell Medical College.

"Properly adapting a home greatly improves the quality of life for a person with ADRD and eases the stress of caregiving. While there is already much written information available, caregivers have expressed a desire for an interactive website with 3-D animations, videos and written content to properly illustrate the complex process of changing the home to match the stage of the patient's disease. Thanks to grants, including from the NEC Foundation of America, we will meet this need by building the first Alzheimer's-Friendly Virtual Home."

The Web site is expected to go live in 2008.

The virtual home is funded by an NEC Foundation grant of $45,000, a three-year grant from the Alzheimer's Association ($240,000), a grant from the Retirement Research Foundation ($204,200) and an award from the Helen Bader Foundation ($150,000).

For more information about Weill Cornell Medical College visit

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