About Rosemary Bakker
"Your detailed written report was excellent – just what we were looking for. You identified problem areas (including ones that hadn’t occurred to us) and offered excellent – and elegant! – solutions. The finished product is beautiful and he's using all of it!"
Alexis Carter, LMSW, CCM
Aging Life Care Professional, New York, NY
My involvement with age-friendly design came about in a very personal way. After studying at Parsons School of Design, I worked for 15 years as an interior designer in New York City. Some years later, when my mother fractured her hip, I had a personal and professional revelation: I realized most homes are designed for young, active individuals with no disabilities, not for the changing needs of older adults. So I shifted my focus to accessible and adaptive design, and earned a Masters degree in gerontology from Hofstra University.
When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I was faced with a new set of challenges as I created a dementia-friendly living space that improved Mom’s well-being while making caregiving less difficult and more fulfilling.
Later, when my husband became ill, I stepped back from my professional engagements to focus on our remaining time together, adapting our city apartment and country home to meet his mobility and safety needs.
So I come to you with both personal and practical experience, as well as a wealth of knowledge acquired along the way – as a caregiver, a gerontologist and an interior design professional. I have transformed countless homes into safe, comfortable, attractive environments for clients’ later years. I have taught medical students, conducted research, written books, edited blogs, hosted websites, led training seminars, and designed furniture. But most of all, I have stood in your shoes.
I know the worry and fear of an adult child whose aging parent can no longer navigate the steps to the front door, rise out of their bed or bathe themselves. I know the burden of a spousal caregiver struggling to keep their loved one from falling in a home that has become an obstacle course. I know the anxiety of an older adult with chronic health conditions who fears becoming dependent on others and resists making changes due to the stigma of "handicap" design. I also know a host of forward-thinking individuals who want to redesign their home now for the smoothest transition into the next chapter of their lives.
To all of you I say, "I can help."