I.D.E.A.S., Inc. Senior Staff

Margaret P. Calkins, Ph.D., Dr. Calkins is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of environments for elderly, especially those with Alzheimer's and other dementias. After completing an A.B. in psychology at Kenyon College, she received her Masters and Ph.D. of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Calkins has spent many years exploring the therapeutic potential of the environment--social and organizational as well as physical--particularly as it relates to frail and impaired older adults. A member of several national organizations and panels which focus on issues of care for cognitively impaired older Americans, she speaks frequently at conferences both here in the US and abroad. She has recently served on several design juries, which seek to identify state of the art facilities in both health care and long term care. She has published extensively, and her book Design for Dementia: Planning Environments for the Elderly and the Confused was the first comprehensive design guide for special care units. Most recently she developed a four-volume book set titled Creating Successful Dementia Care Settings (see product page for information). Dr. Calkins has served as Principal Investigator on grants from the National Institutes of Health. She is also Senior Fellow Emeritus of the Institute on Aging and Environment at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Dr, Margaret Calkins is one of a small group of individuals to become EDAC certified. The Evidence-based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC) program is transforming the field of health care design by providing nationally recognized accreditation to promote the use of an evidence-based design process in health care building projects. The goal of the program is to institutionalize evidence-based design as an accepted and credible approach to improve health care outcomes. The EDAC accreditation is designed to help health care organizations identify qualified experts who understand the implementation of evidence-based design in new and existing health care environments. It complements the American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA) certification and aligns with the Environment of Care section of the 2006 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities by the Facility Guidelines Institute and the American Institute of Architects. Evidence-based design is the process of basing decisions about the built environment on credible research to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Adjunct Researchers


Jennifer Brush, M.A., CCC/SLP, is a highly regarded Speech-Language Pathologist known for her work in the areas of memory and swallowing interventions for people with dementia. As a sought after national speaker, Ms. Brush offers interactive and educational presentations that help audiences bridge the gap between current research findings and the care needs of their clients. She has served as the Principal Investigator on applied research grants that have examined issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS dementia, hearing impairment, dining, dysphagia, and the long term care environment. Ms. Brush is the author of Meal Time Matters a training program that builds nursing assistants’ skills related to dining, swallowing disorders, and safe feeding assistance. She is the editor of IDEAS for a Better Visit and the co-author of two books: Environment and Communication Assessment Toolkit and A Therapy Technique for Improving Memory: Spaced Retrieval.

Jon Sanford, M.Arch is an adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture and Co-Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations within the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access, Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also a Research Architect at the Rehabilitation Research and Development Center at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Director of Research for Extended Home Living Services in Wheeling, Illinois, one of the nationís largest providers of home modifications. Mr. Sanford is one of the few architecturally trained researchers engaged in environmental issues related to accessibility and design for aging and has been well-recognized for his expertise in home modifications, environmental safety, and universal design for over 20 years. His research has focused on accessibility and universal design, including best practices in assisted toileting and bathing; access to toilet and bathing facilities; and design of toilet facilities to facilitate independence among older adults. He has developed several assessment protocols for home modifications, including remote assessments using televideo technology and CASPAR, the Comprehensive Assessment and Solutions Process fro Aging Residents. He is currently funded by the National Institute on Aging to develop eCASPAR, a companion database of home modification solutions. In addition, he is currently directing a multi-site, randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of using interactive teleconferencing to provide remote therapeutic services, including home modification recommendations, to older adults at home.

Carrie Bruce, M.A., CCC-SLP, ATP is a Speech Language Pathologist and an Assistive Technology Practitioner. She serves as a co-investigator in the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations and provides support to other sponsored projects related to accessibility, disability, and design. Ms. Bruce has been working in the field of rehabilitation and assistive technology for ten years, with expertise in modifications related to communication devices and computer access technologies used. Her recent work includes descriptive analyses of assessment instruments with a person-environment fit focus, development of a workplace accommodations assessment, classification of environmental features in informal learning environments, and investigation on universally designed exhibit interpretation.


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Environment and Communication
Assessment Toolkit for Dementia Care
(ECAT)

Speech-Language Pathologists,
Nurses, and Occupational Therapists
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Available from
Health Professions Press


Environment and Communication Assessment Toolkit for Dementia Care (ECAT)

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I.D.E.A.S., Inc., 8055 Chardon Road, Kirtland, Ohio 44094 | Phone: 440.256.1880 | Fax: 440.256.1881