Preparations made during the next 20 years could be critical to the ability of older Americans to live independently in the year 2035 and beyond, when a fifth of the American population will be age 65 or older, says Jennifer Molinsky, a senior research associate for Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS).
The challenges she cites in her blog post “Four Challenges to Aging in Place” are:
- Accessible housing for 17 million “older” households with at least one resident with accessibility issues;
- Long-term care for 12 million “older” households who’ll need daily assistance with personal care;
- Affordable housing for 17.1 million “older” households who’ll spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing (including 8.5 million who’ll spend more than 50 percent); and
- Reducing isolation so members of older households connect with neighbors and get food, medical care, transportation and other services. Older citizens still need access to friends and family, too.
For more details, including a JCHS report “Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Older Population,” read Molinsky’s blog post, “Four Challenges to Aging in Place.”