Older adults overwhelmingly prefer the option of aging in place as an alternative to institutional care. Nearly 80 percent of adults age 65 and older want to remain in their current residence as long as possible. In order for older adults to have this option, their living environment and service arrangements must be accommodating. This report summarizes a research study produced by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the AARP Public Policy Institute that provides information on livability practices intended to help the aging population stay in their homes and communities.
The report provides a brief overview of livability practices in regards to land use, transportation, and housing intended to help older adults age in place through the implementation of age-friendly communities. Without modifying the way services are delivered and communities are constructed, older adults will find it increasingly difficult to age in place and may have to consider institutional care. Designing “Complete Streets” in neighborhoods and communities will enable all residents to get where they want to go, regardless of age or ability.
Other report highlights include:
- Services can become more easily accessible through certain land use policies that allow older adults to live within walking distance of these services.
- Increasing mobility options for older adults can reduce reliance on family members and friends for transportation.
- By building affordable and accessible age-friendly housing, the need for institutional care will decrease.
- Improving and enhancing roads to ensure safety for older adult pedestrians will ensure safety for all pedestrians in the community.
How to Use
The report offers a brief and direct discussion of transportation, land use, and housing practices and policies that will make communities more age-friendly and improve their livability for all residents in the community. Planners, local officials, and policymakers can use this report to gain an understanding of practices that have been implemented by other cities and states that make aging in place a viable option for their older adult population.