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‘Harnessing the Power of the Built Environment to Enable Older Adults to Successfully Age in Place: Best Practices’

September 24, 2011
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

LAKE PLACID - Mercy Care for the Adirondacks, in collaboration with the Research and Education Foundation of the New York State Builders Association, has developed and Paul Smith's College will host an educational forum entitled "Harnessing the Power of the Built Environment to Enable Older Adults to Successfully Age in Place: Best Practices."

The forum will be held on the Paul Smith's College campus from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 20.

There is no fee to attend the forum but pre-registration is required by Oct. 17. To reserve a place, please send e-mail to or call 518-523-5583. Registrants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The presenter will be Esther Greenhouse, Environmental Gerontologist, advocate for enabling housing. Esther Greenhouse, M.S., is a nationally recognized expert in Universal Design and Aging in Place. She serves on two national Universal Design coalitions, including the AARP/Boomer Project's Universal Design Consumer Task Force. Dr. Bill Thomas of Eden Alternative tapped Ms. Greenhouse to consult on the visual environment for the nation's first senior-focused Emergency Department. She is collaborating on a book on aging in place under the leadership of the Honorable Henry Cisneros in conjunction with Stanford University. She is currently developing a series on enabling housing for public television with the Albany Guardian Society due out in January 2012.

Greenhouse is a certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) and has worked as a researcher and lecturer at Cornell University. Due to her teaching and advocacy, she was named CAPS of the Year in 2008 by the National Association of Home Builders. As a CAPS instructor, her students include designers, builders, remodelers, and occupational therapists. Prior to Ms. Greenhouse's presentation on October 20, the Research & Education Foundation of the NYS Builders Association will provide CAPS training to Adirondack homebuilders and contractors at Paul Smith's College on Oct. 18 and 19.

For more information, call Juli Turner, Education Manager at NYSBA Research and Education Foundation, 518-465-2492 ext. 110.

"Mercy Care is deeply grateful to the Research and Education Foundation of the New York State Builders Association for making Esther Greenhouse available to share her national expertise with community residents of all ages, healthcare providers, social workers, religious, home builders and contractors, housing administrators, zoning and building code officers, local government representatives and community planners," said Donna Beal, executive director of Mercy Care for the Adirondacks.

People interested in aging in place in their own homes are encouraged and invited to attend.

Together with community volunteers, Mercy Care for the Adirondacks completed development of the "Aging in Place Community Empowerment Action Plan for the Tri-Lakes" in 2010. Esther Greenhouse's training and presentation achieves objectives called for in the plan:

-Partner with experts to develop and provide training for builders and contractors in universal design principles.

-Engage zoning boards and building code officers to promote universal design principles for new and home modification projects.

Mercy Care has developed eight forums previously on the topics of "Creativity and Aging" in June 2007, "Communities for All Ages" in June 2008, "Transformative Aging" in October 2008, "Aging in Place in the Adirondacks" in June 2009, "From Isolation to Integration" in October 2009, "Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging" in May 2010, Building Your Own Personal Independence Plan" in October 2010, and Aging in Place in your own Home in May 2011.



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