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Gerontologic Environmental Modifications (GEM)

Funded by the Isaac H. Tuttle Fund

photo: room

The majority of older persons prefer to age-in-place in their own homes. With the growing availability of homecare, adults with chronic diseases have more living options than ever before. However, most single-family homes and apartments (and the products they contain) have not been designed to accommodate sensory, physical, and cognitive disabilities. Environmental modifications may be necessary to optimize safety and performance in daily activities. Many of these changes are simple and inexpensive, yet highly effective. For example, good lighting can help reduce falls and compensate for the changes that commonly occur in aging eyes.

Creative Interior Adaptations for Age-Friendly Living Spaces

Project GEM challenges the old way of thinking that reduced functioning is always due to the aging person, rather than the poor environment-person fit. GEM researches interior design and technology solutions that enable optimal aging at home and offers supportive services to community agencies in Manhattan.

For example, our workshops train participants to identify the key safety and care issues that can help support older adults' safety, function, and memory. Our workshops cover key interior adaptations, including accessibility features that landlords are required by law to finance.

You may also want to visit our section on Home Safety.

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