Supporting ASU Biomedical Research in Fall Prevention

July 28 2022

Dr. Thurmon Lockhart, the Inaugural MORE Foundation Life in Motion Professor in the Biomedical Engineering program in the School of Biological Health and Systems Engineering at ASU, and his team of graduate students have been an integral part of programming with Mirabella residents throughout the year.  Dr. Lockhart has not only presented at our Lifelong Learning Signature Lectures, but he has also hosted ongoing Fall Risk Assessment Workshops onsite at Mirabella. The workshops provide residents with valuable insights into their risk for falls, but have also served to advance Dr. Lockhart’s research.

Most recently, our residents have been provided the opportunity to be involved in a research study for Bathing Surface Resistant Requirements with Dr. Lockhart and his team.  The study takes place at the Locomotion Research Laboratory on the ASU campus.  Our residents have been exposed to the Research Lab through lectures and videos of previous research studies, but we have not yet had the chance to take a tour.

Mirabella resident Sheila stepped right up and volunteered to be a participant in the study.  Sheila is no stranger to being the “first” in Mirabella activities.  Sheila was one of the first residents to move into the building, and she is notoriously one of the first in attendance at the weekly lectures. So, pioneering Mirabella’s involvement in this research is not surprise.

Sheila graciously let us tag along with her on this awesome opportunity!  She was safely harnessed and outfitted with sensors on certain joints of her body to track her movement.  During her research session, Sheila was asked to step in and out of a mock shower stall and a mock bathtub to evaluate friction requirements on different bathing surfaces.  The data will be used for developing safety measures in new materials used in state-of-the-art materials and designs.  There were nine different surfaces tested, including surfaces in both dry and wet conditions.

Currently twenty-four residents have signed up for the study.  It is exciting to see how residents’ volunteer efforts support the development of new safety standards and requirements for bathtub and shower structures that will save lives in the future!