Less dense communities provide specific challenges in providing services to residents in need of extra care. More seniors living in suburban and rural communities will require new and scalable solutions.
Laura Maggi shares news of a new study from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University that reveals the demographics of aging in the United States.
A key finding from the study: "A growing number of older people are living in suburban or rural areas that are less likely to have the kind of services needed to help people stay in their own homes as they age, a new report found."
More specifically: "The share of adults who are 65 or older living in low-density metro census tracts increased by more than 6 million people from 2000 to 2016….That is about 15 million people, with another 8 million living in non-metropolitan area neighborhoods."
The report suggests that communities must act now to begin filling the gaps in services required by aging populations. There are existing models to copy, as well. "For example, the CAPABLE program developed by the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is aimed at helping lower-income seniors age in place. The program teams up a nurse, occupational therapist and handyman, who make home visits over four months to figure out how people can safely remain in their own homes," writes Maggi.
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