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Rosemary Bakker

Research Associate in Gerontologic Design in Medicine
Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology

Rosemary Bakker, MS, ASID

Research Associate in Gerontologic Design in Medicine

Weill Medical College of Cornell University
525 East 68th Street, Box 39
New York, New York 10021

Recent Research Activities

Ms. Bakker was awarded a 3-year Investigator-Initiated Research Grant from the Alzheimer's Association and awards from other foundations, including the Helen Bader Foundation and the Retirement Research Foundation, for her current award-winning project,, a multimedia web tool on best practices in home safety and dementia care.

Other research projects include a lighting study documenting light levels in the dwellings of the homebound elderly, a survey of physicians' understanding of the differences between nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and a study of environmental barriers to wheelchair users traversing an urban hospital. Bakker initiated and managed a New York City Bathing Safety Task Force and designed engineering tests for various products, including grab-bar fastening systems. She has also tested Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for older adults with memory loss.

As a consultant to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Bakker designed an environmental hazard assessment form, which she used to assess five hospitals as part of a study on slips and falls prevention in health care workers.

Professional Activities

Bakker has developed an online multimedia course on Environmental Geriatrics for medical education funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

She has conducted numerous presentations on environmental design to diverse audiences, ranging from health care professionals, interior designers, and housing experts at their national meetings to members of Fortune 500 corporations, Centers for Disease Control, the Alzheimer's Association, and the United Nations. For the past few years, Bakker has been an invited speaker at the Evidence-Based Falls Conference in Clearwater, Florida, as well as at the geriatrics grand rounds at major medical schools in the New York area, including Hackensack University Medical University, Bellevue Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Bakker has appeared on CBS, NBC, and PBS and was featured in the Public Lives column of The New York Times (2004).

Bakker is a consultant to the housing, assisted living, and healthcare industries on design projects for older adults and the cognitively impaired. For over two years, she served as the Family Council President for an assisted living residence for older adults with dementia. She is a former member of the New York State Construction Standards Advisory Group for Nursing Homes and a current member of the New York State Construction Standards Advisory Group for Assisted Living Facilities.


Sigma Phi Omega National Academy of Honors in Gerontology


American Society of Interior Designers
American Society on Aging
Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)
Gerontological Society of America
Society for Advancement of Gerontological Environments (SAGE)

Selected Publications/Books

Bakker, R., Ioffel, Y., Lachs, M. (in press). Lighting levels in the dwellings of homebound older adults. Journal of Housing for the Elderly, 18(2).

Bakker, R. (2003, Summer). Global-positioning technology falls short for locating wandering elders with dementia. Maximizing Human Potential, .American Society on Aging. Vol 1(1), 2-8.

Bakker, R. (2003). Sensory loss, dementia and environments. Generations 27(1), 46-52.

Bakker, R. (2001, November-December). Navigating the Alzheimer's journey: One daughter's story. Aging Today, American Society on Aging, 5-6.

Bakker, R. (2000, November). Facility design: Getting it right the first time. Nursing Homes Long Term Care Management, 68-71.

Bakker, R. (1999, Winter). Elder design: Home modifications for enhanced safety and self-care. Care Management Journals: Journal of Long Term Home Health Care. 1(1), 47-54.

Bakker, R. (1997). ElderDesign: Designing and furnishing a home for your later years. New York: Penguin Books.


Hofstra University – Gerontology
New School for Social Research
National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ)
© Weill Medical College of Cornell University
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