Nearly 90 percent of all adults over the age of 50 prefer to age in their own homes. With the explosive aging demographic, this desire will build and increase pressure on policy makers, planners, program managers, and researchers to discover ways that allow for livability to become reality. This AARP Public Policy Institute report explores the connections between a livable community and community engagement among its residents and shows how both affect the “successful aging” of its residents. It highlights the consequences of inadequate home design, affordable housing strategies, mobility options, and community services and features. And it illustrates how persons aged 50 and older contribute to, and benefit from, well-designed communities that promote community engagement.
The report explores how issues like home features, policies, and the expansion of residential choices and community options can make aging in place a viable possibility. The report serves as a resource for garnering ideas that can aid policy makers and program managers exploring strategic issues for aging in place.
Other highlights include:
- Strategies are provided for lowering cost and increasing funding through the federal government.
- Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s) and supportive housing offer residential choices for “aging in community.” These, along with other options, contribute to the livability of a community.
- Services ranging from weatherizing homes to exploring transit options can make homes more affordable for older residents. That, in turn, increases the possibility of aging in place.
- Home builders and renovators should consider some of the listed accessibility features, which, if absent, can serve as barriers to helping older adults age in place.
As the older demographic continues to expand rapidly, so too is the social and economic imperative to design a community that is prepared for an older constituency. Being aware of the issues related to enabling livability will enable better planning and preparation within a given locality.
How to Use
This report is meant to serve as an idea generator for policy makers, planners, program managers, and researchers who are exploring how to make aging in place viable in the community. The report can be utilized as a resource for overcoming barriers to aging in place. Outcomes include affordable housing for older adults, minimum standards in housing features for enabling the aging in place option, integration of issues such as transit as it relates to housing, and creating choices for older adults to age in the community.