Most Americans will be aging-in-place by choice or necessity according to a National Survey on Housing and Home Modification Issues conducted by AARP.  The Administration on Aging reported that 28% of older Americans in 2012 lived alone and among women aged 75 and over almost half lived alone.
Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.