Moving Mom & Dad – but to where?

With the over-5o population expected to grow from 100 million this year to 130 million in 2030, the question of how and where to house these older adults is one that’s not going away. And it is not just a question of quantity and variety — enough houses, apartments, retirement communities — it’s how to ensure that needed services will be accessible to all.

A new report just released by AARP’s Public Policy Institute and authored by the Center for Housing Policy offers a comprehensive look at a complicated picture. Insight on the Issues: Strategies to Meet the Housing Needs of Older Adults and is designed to help state and local policy makers understand the needs of this growing population segment.

All of these Boomers, who are now beginning to swell the ranks of the Seriously Senior, have specific wish lists: independence, security, and above all avoidance of the N-word — the dreaded nursing home. The wish lists change almost by the day, but some things stay the same.

“With the population of older adults on the rise, this report helps to identify the essential housing policy strategies that can help them to balance their increasing needs with a desire to continue to stay closely connected to their families, communities and society,” said Center for Housing Policy Chair John K. McIlwain, senior resident fellow and the J. Ronald Terwilliger chair for housing at the Urban Land Institute.

According to Susan Reinhard, AARP Senior Vice President and Director of the AARP Public Policy Institute, “These resources will be invaluable for policymakers at the state and local levels as they adapt to the changing needs of an aging population.”

If you, or your parents or grandparents, are over 50, chances are you have already had The Talk. Where in the world will Mom and Dad go, and how in the world will they stay there? What’s going to be comfortable? How will we afford it?

Nine fact sheets accompanying the newly released report are divided into three sections. It all makes the task of plowing through the talk a little easier, especially if local and state policy makers are paying attention at the same time.

This space will be looking at the different points over the coming weeks. Your comments and personal stories are welcome.


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  2. I’m not sure the recycling of old people along the lines of your 101 uses for dead cats will gather much public support, ragnar, especially among cat lovers. Plus, you’ve got the inconvenience of needing to decide when is old enough to toss into the recycle bin, which presumably would have to be Old-Enough-To-Be-Useless. Since I know people I occasionally deem useless, some of whom I love a lot anyway, at 16, 36, 56 and 76 (my own age, and I do have my useless days) this isn’t going to be easy. Maybe we’d better keep looking at housing options until this is sorted out.

    1. Fran, its very likely that buried in the new health “reform” bill is a panel that will decide on everyone’s usefulness to society.

  3. Old people could be easily recycled into useful products. “101 Uses for a Dead Cat” is a good – though dated – reference.

    Also, “Soylent Green” seemed to have both a solution to overcrowding of old people and hunger. It was a very elegant solution that has not received enough attention to date.

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