Mobility impairments pose a special difficulty, since they affect every aspect of an elderly personís life. Simple tasks, such as standing while manipulating an object with their hands. Often, people with mobility impairments will choose to use a wheel chair or a walker to assist them. These solutions however, do not account for some of the more complex daily tasks that an adult must complete, especially when combined with the dexterity issues prevalent in elder adults. Applewood Retirement Community is a senior living facility located in Amherst, MA. It is comprised of 103 apartments within a larger facility for adults looking for independent living. Independent living means that the residents at Applewood must be able to maintain their homes and daily activities largely independently. The services Applewood provides for residents include security, housekeeping, meals, and maintenance. While the residents of Applewood must be largely independent, many still suffer from the mobility and dexterity impairments previously mentioned. One particularly challenging task for Applewood residents with mobility issues is opening and unlocking doors. Particularly for residents in walkers, dealing with unlocking the door while maintaining control of their assistive device. Opening the door while fighting against the passive closing system required of all internal doors in common spaces can also prove a huge discomfort on a common activity, not speaking of the damage incurred to the doors and facilities.

Problem Demonstration Video

Applewood Assisted Living Facility



The goal of this project is to design an automated door opening system for Applewood to apply to their apartment doors that provide security and ease of access for the residents, and are scalable, moveable, and aesthetically pleasing.