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Transcript: Chat With AARP President Rob Romasco on Making Your Home a Great Place to Live

AARP: Good afternoon!. We're about to get started here with Rob. So go ahead and ask your question. We have many in the queue already but we want to get to as many as we can. Thanks for participating!
Welcome to our monthly chat with AARP President Rob Romasco. Today we're talking about Making Your Home a Great Place to Live for you to age in place.

Thank you, Rob, for joining us today. We're delighted for you to be here and talk about this important topic.

Rob Romasco: I'm happy to be here. Let's get started.
Comment From Peter Campbell: My name is Peter. My question is: How long can I stay in my house after foreclosure?
Rob Romasco: Hi, Peter. First of all you're not alone in facing foreclosure.

So many older adults are finding themselves faced with foreclosure. In fact, more than 1.5 million older Americans lost their homes in the last few years. Housing problems can be very complex and it is difficult to find trustworthy information and advice.

I recommend that you call AARP Foundation's Housing Solutions Center, which connects homeowners to free HUD-certified counseling, resources and education. This provides housing information and advice directly through the toll-free number: 855-850-2525

By the way, the AARP Foundation is an affiliate charity of AARP. When you call, the counselor can give you additional information and resources.

Comment From jmackinnon: The problem is yard work and house maintenance … any ideas (I'm a single senior lady in her 70s) other than throwing money in it?

Rob Romasco: This is such a good question. We get this a lot.

The Area Agency on Aging is a resource for information on organizations that may be able to help you. Faith communities may also have resources available. Check to see if your neighborhood has as email listserv that can tell you who can assist with low-cost help … perhaps some neighborhood kids.

Some communities have organizations called “villages” where neighbors come together to help each other out. If there is a village established in your area, you could join and get information on potential resources – but that does require some cost. You can learn more about villages here at the Village to Village Network.
Comment From Charles Maclean: I live in a multigenerational cohousing community. How can safe aging in place improvements and behaviors be approached in a way that highlights benefits for all generations and minimizes any we-they polarization?

Rob Romasco: This sounds like a great place, Charles. AARP is all for cross-generational support. We see two big benefits – the structure of the space itself and the interaction among community members.

Making the structure work – good home design – helps generations. For instance:

  • Wider doorways make it easier to get large packages in or a baby on a hip
  • No-step entries can benefit strollers as much as wheelchairs
  • Counters with different heights help anyone preparing a meal or a child doing homework. 

Here is a good article about this: What Is Universal Design?

It's wonderful for all generations to mix, to learn from each other and enjoy each other’s company. Kids can't have too many grandparents.

Next page: How can I find out how old my house is? »

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