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Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) based on ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4 will be key enablers of non-invasive, highly sensitive infrastructures to support the provision of future ambient assisted living services. This paper addresses the main design concerns and requirements when conceiving ambient care systems (ACS), frameworks to provide remote monitoring, emergency detection, activity logging and personal notifications dispatching services. In particular, the paper describes the design of an ACS built on top of a WSN composed of Crossbow's MICAz devices, external sensors and PDAs enabled with ZigBee technology. The middleware is integrated in an OSGi framework that processes the acquired information to provide ambient services and also enables smart network control. From our experience, we consider that in a future, the combination of ZigBee technology together with a service oriented architecture may be a versatile approach to AAL services offering, both from the technical and business points of view.