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Aging in Place – A Toolkit for Local Governments

Overview

Aging in place is a matter of preserving the ability for people to remain in their homes as they age for as long as possible. This Aging in Place toolkit, created by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), is designed to provide guidance for local governments that are planning and preparing for their aging populations. The toolkit emphasizes specific techniques for coordinating housing and healthcare supports to help seniors remain in their homes and communities as they age. The framework of the toolkit is based on three critical issue areas – healthcare, environment, and planning and zoning – that are essential components for aging in place.

Key Points

The five key components of aging in place are outlined in the toolkit and include choice, flexibility, entrepreneurship, mixed generations, and smart growth. Communities must take these essential components into account when developing plans to prepare for their increasing older adult populations. As the massive Boomer population approaches retirement and old age, communities and neighborhoods will need to embrace “smart” design approaches and improve coordination between healthcare delivery services, transportation, housing, and planning initiatives. The toolkit discusses strategies thatretain the social and economic contributions of older adults, thus benefiting local governments, residents, and communities as a whole.

Other report highlights include:

  1. Comprehensive aging in place strategies used in communities should include a range of services, like wellness programs, prevention oriented programs, and a continuum of affordable care.
  2. SOURCE Demonstration Project, this programoffers a variety of long-term health services for frail elderly Georgians to eliminate the need for nursing home care.

This toolkit is an excellent resource that provides in-depth knowledge for planners and local governments to consider when looking for ways to meet the housing, healthcare, and mobility needs of seniors in their communities now and in the future.

How to Use

Several recommendations are made for each critical issue discussed in the toolkit that provide guidance and insight for planners and local officials seeking to improve the livability of their communities and create neighborhoods where older adults have the ability to age in place for as long as possible. Planners, local officials, and community leaders can use this toolkit to find more information on healthcare, housing, and transportation features, as well as components that support healthy and successful aging in place.

View the full report: Aging in Place – A Toolkit for Local Governments (PDF – 1.4 MB)