The Opting for Independence (OFI) program was piloted in Howard County, Maryland. This program seeks to examine how older adults use their strengths to stay in their homes as they age and to help communities understand the range of supports older adults will need in the future. The Coordinating Center produced this report to assess the progress of the OFI program in Howard County and to determine if the Howard County community can make aging in place a viable option for its older adult residents.
Howard County is the wealthiest county in Maryland and has a substantial older adult population. The report analyzes research findings of a survey conducted on older adults in Howard County and the community elements with which they are most concerned. Many older adults voiced that they were concerned with the ability of informal support systems (e.g., family, friends, neighbors, etc.) to provide daily long-term care, transportation options, and trustworthy service providers.
Other report highlights include:
- Though many older residents in Howard County currently have financial security, many are still concerned with the expenses associated with aging in place, such as the cost and practicality of large modifications to multi-level homes.
- Many Howard County seniors worry that they will not have access to affordable transportation to help them get to necessary locations, like the grocery store or their physician’s office.
How to Use
The report is intended to help communities make progress toward supporting older adults and making aging in place a practical option. The survey results presented in the report can be used by planners, local officials, and community leaders to help them understand the obstacles faced by Howard County seniors, many of which are representative of the challenges facing older adults throughout the county in their efforts to age in place. Planners and local officials can also use the information presented in the report to guide their efforts in creating community plans that will support aging in place.