Bootle Blast & Dementia Study

Interventional Study

Get in touch about this study

Full study title: Feasibility-Testing of a Youth Therapeutic Exercise Video Game System (‘Bootle Blast’) with Older Adults with Dementia


What is the study about?

This study looks at how playing an exercise video game called ‘Bootle Blast’ can help improve balance in older adults with dementia. Older adults with dementia are more likely to have balance problems, which can result in falls. Exercise can improve balance for people with dementia. Exercise video games that involve moving (similar to the Nintendo Wii) have been used in therapy. However, these systems are not designed for people with different abilities, do not capture the entire body, and cannot track how players move over time. These games also lack aspects seen in mainstream games, like exciting music, competition, a storyline, quality graphics, feedback, and multiplayer modes. Bootle Blast was designed to combine therapy and video games and has been used by children and youth with varied motor abilities, both in clinics and at home. Preliminary research shows that Bootle Blast can keep players engaged and help support physical outcomes. Early tests also suggest that older adults might enjoy it, too.


Eligibility – Who can participate?

Pairs of people with dementia and their caregivers living in the same household.

Participants must:

People with Dementia

  • Live in Ontario, Canada (within a two-hour drive from Toronto, Ontario)
  • Speak and understand English
  • Agree to be video and audio recorded as part of the study
  • Be able to stand and walk, with or without an assistive device (e.g., a walker)
  • Be able to use both upper limbs to play the games
  • Have the capacity to provide independent, informed consent


  • Live in Ontario, Canada (within a two-hour drive from Toronto, Ontario)
  • Speak and understand English
  • Agree to be video and audio recorded as part of the study


Time requirement

  • Meet the researchers for 1-1.5 hours during a home visit to complete two balance tests, game set-up, and two questionnaires (one for demographic purposes and one for memory)
  • Play Bootle Blast at home for 10 weeks on days/times that work with your routine schedule (i.e., you will choose the frequency and duration). The game will record all sessions while you play
  • Weekly, audio-recorded check-in phone calls (10 minutes per call)
  • Be audio recorded during a 30-minute interview at the end of the study about your experiences playing or supporting your family member with the games


TDRA study investigator

Dr. Arlene Astell

TDRA Site:

Participate from home

Age Group:

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Target Population:

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The listing of a study on the Toronto Dementia Network (TDN) is for informational purposes only. The safety, efficacy or scientific validity of the studies listed here have not been evaluated by The Alzheimer Society of Toronto (AST) or the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance (TDRA). The TDRA is an academic coalition among the University of Toronto and four memory clinics across Toronto at Baycrest, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the University Health Network. The information collected will be kept and guarded by TDRA. Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Before you participate in a study, you should make sure you understand the risks and potential benefits and discuss all options with your health care provider(s).