BACKGROUND: Much interest is devoted to care for older people. It is well established that the bedroom is the place where the majority of falls occur at home. Although there are several examples of adequate space-planning specific for aging people, the design of furniture is still lacking. The goal of the study was to design a night-table specific for the elderly user. METHOD: Gerontechnology uses an integrated ergonomic approach. Gerontechnology identifies needs and desires for designing appropriate solutions employed in a large-scale industrial application. We demonstrated that gerontechnology, through technical devices and design solutions, has a pivotal role in order to reduce negative effects related to decreased visual acuity, which predisposes elderly people to falls and injuries. In particular, "task analysis" was employed in order to evaluate both requirements and recommendations of night-table design. RESULTS: We show here the first example of an applied project in gerontechnology. Not only the efficiency of cleaning and functionality was pursued, but also to obtain a night-table harmonious with other pieces of furniture. This emphasizes that a friendly aspect of a night-table holds at a distance the "patient" or the "aging" status. CONCLUSION: We provide an applied project in gerontechnology. Easy devices of the night-table can be used by as wide a range of people as possible, including older people. In conclusion, the low cost and the long duration of the night-table make it a widely diffused commodity, improving the quality of life for older people and in doing so, for everyone.
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