Virtual reality applications for addressing the needs of those aging with disability

Albert Rizzo, Phil Requejo, Carolee J. Winstein, Belinda Lange, Gisele Ragusa, Alma Merians, James Patton, Pat Banerjee, Mindy Aisen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


As persons with disabilities age, progressive declines in health and medical status can challenge the adaptive resources required to maintain functional independence and quality of life [1]. These challenges are further compounded by economic factors, medication side effects, loss of a spouse or caregiver, and psychosocial disorders [1-2]. With the gradual loss of functional independence and increased reliance on others for transportation, access to general medical and rehabilitation care can be jeopardized [2]. The combination of these factors when seen in the context of the average increase in lifespan in industrialized societies has lead to a growing crisis that is truly global in proportion. While research indicates that functional motor capacity can be improved, maintained, or recovered via consistent participation in a motor exercise and rehabilitation regimen [3], independent adherence to such preventative and/or rehabilitative programming outside the clinic setting is notoriously low [1]. This state of affairs has produced a compelling and ethical motivation to address the needs of individuals who are aging with disabilities by promoting home-based access to low-cost, interactive virtual reality (VR) systems designed to engage and motivate individuals to participate with "game"-driven physical activities and rehabilitation programming. The creation of such systems could serve to enhance, maintain and rehabilitate the sensorimotor processes that are needed to maximize independence and quality of life. This is the theme of the research to be presented at this MMVR workshop.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 18
EditorsJames D. Westwood, Susan W. Westwood, Li Fellander-Tsai, Randy S. Haluck, Helene M. Hoffman, Richard A. Robb, Steven Senger, Kirby G. Vosburgh
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781607507062
ISBN (Print)9781607507055
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventMedicine Meets Virtual Reality (MMVR) conference - Newport Beach, United States
Duration: 8 Feb 201112 Feb 2011

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


ConferenceMedicine Meets Virtual Reality (MMVR) conference
Abbreviated titleMMVR18 / NextMed conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNewport Beach


  • Aging
  • Disability
  • Technology
  • Virtual reality


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