OBJECTIVE. This case study describes an occupational therapy intervention to increase the self-mobility and social participation of a nursing home resident with dementia using a power wheelchair equipped with a collision-prevention system.
METHOD. We used an exploratory case study design. Data sources included the medical record, standardized assessments, interviews, observations of daily activities, and a driving log.
RESULTS. During driving sessions, changes in affect such as smiling and attempts to socialize were noted. The resident required ongoing prompting to operate the modified power wheelchair.
CONCLUSION. The resident was unable to achieve self-mobility with an intervention involving a modified power wheelchair. However, this study demonstrates that even supervised mobility can have a positive impact on affect and social participation. Observations from this study are being applied to the design and testing of the next generation of power wheelchairs intended for use by nursing home residents with dementia.