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This paper describes the approach used to identify elderly people's needs and attitudes towards applying ambient sensor systems for monitoring daily activities in the home. As elderly are typically unfamiliar with such ambient technology, interactive tools for explicating sensor monitoring -an interactive dollhouse and iPad applications for displaying live monitored sensor activity datawere developed and used for this study. Furthermore, four studies conducted by occupational therapists with more than 60 elderly participants -including questionnaires (n=41), interviews (n=6), user sessions (n=14) and field studies (n=2)were conducted. The experiences from these studies suggest that this approach helped to democratically engage the elderly as end-user and identify acceptance issues.