The 60+ population of the City of St. Louis and the four surrounding counties represented by the Mid-East Area Agencies on Aging is expected to comprise nearly 25 percent of the area’s total population by 2020. A workshop was conducted in St. Louis, Missouri by Partners for Livable Communities and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, with the assistance of MetLife Foundation, to discuss the accessibility needs for homes, buildings, and public spaces that make it possible for older adults to age in place.
The report focuses on how to redesign communities in the St. Louis area to make them more accessible for older adults and, in turn, all community residents. In order to reduce barriers to accessibility and improve livability, communities must redesign features such as homes, roads, streets, sidewalks, and building entrances to accommodate the changing needs of older adults and ensure their safety and independence. “Most older adults want to age in place, to stay in their homes and communities—and most communities recognize that their older residents make very important contributions to local social and economic health.”
Existing initiatives in St. Louis that that foster aging in place include:
- Paraquad is a non-profit independent living facility in the City of St. Louis that works to increase the independence of older adults and those living with a disability, and to assure these people are valued and able to participate in all aspects of society. In 2008, Paraquad served more than 4,000 citizens by offering 40 services to enhance the life of those with disabilities.
- The St. Louis Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) provide funding for Housing Options for the Elderly (HOPE) to support development of affordable housing for seniors. The program seeks to raise awareness among seniors and assist them in making well-informed decisions regarding their own housing options.
How to Use
Planners and local officials can use this report to gain an understanding of the challenges communities are facing in St. Louis and across the country in accommodating the mobility needs of the growing older adult population. Additionally, the report highlights the importance of redesigning traditional homes, streets, and sidewalks, among other things to allow for successful aging in place for older adults.