Universal Design - Think Again Brooklyns

Keeping Older Adults with Disabilities
Close to their Families and Friends


Accessible Kitchen DesignBrooklyn Park City Council Chamber
5200 85th Avenue N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443

Tuesday, November 27

6 p.m. - Pizza and Salad Buffet
6:30 p.m. - Program

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Currently one in three Americans is age 50 or older. By 2030, one out of five people in the U.S. will be 65 or older.  With a rapidly increasing percent of older people, increasing use of telemedicine to monitor patients with chronic conditions, more patients expected to return home shortly after surgery, and the Medicare Advisory Commission’s recommendation that the cost of long term care be reduced, it is important that people’s homes accommodate any limitations they have.  Will you and your community be ready with condos, homes, and apartments that meet your needs?  Are you ready right now?

Gene Nicolelli

Gene Nicolelli is an architect who is the Principal of Nicolelli Architects and is a Certified Aging - in - Place Specialist (CAPS) certified by the National Association of Home Builders 50+ Housing Council. Over his years as an architect, Nicolelli has received many awards, including the National Association of Home Builders 50+ Council - Best of 50+ Housing Awards, the 2012 Gold Achievement Award and the Best in American Living 2004 Silver Award, a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Award of Excellence.

He explains, "For those of you unfamiliar with Universal Design, it can best be described as a holistic approach that shapes environments so they may be used by as many people as possible, regardless of age, ability, or circumstance, without discrimination and have lifetime value."


AARP research consistently finds that the vast majority of people age 50 and older want to stay in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Gene Nicolelli will walk us through the AARP Guide and share his own advice on modifications that help people stay at home, that developers can incorporate into condos or apartment buildings to make them appropriate for frail or disabled residents, and that cities expecting a future increase in older residents can require for new development.

Staying in their home with some assistance from family, friends, and volunteers can help people enjoy their later years as well as save them and their fellow citizens the considerable costs of a nursing home or assisted living facility.  Most existing single family homes as well as condos and apartments were not built with the features of Universal Design.  Let's change course by evaluating the current dwellings of people who have become disabled for possible remodeling and by requiring future dwellings to be built with Universal Design features.

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