The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) conducted a Home and Community Preferences survey in 2018 and discovered that 3 out of 4 people ages 50 and older nationwide hope to remain in their current home as they grow older, but only 46 % believe they will be able to do so.
It is critical a portion of new senior housing initiatives incorporate eligibility considerations for lower income older adults. This would include individuals who are served through Minnesota Medicaid’s Elderly Waiver (EW) program to ensure housing options are accessible and inclusive of them.
The Rochester Area Foundation is committed to affordable housing efforts and has created a Coalition for Rochester Area Housing. The Coalition is working on a co-design process around senior housing – partnering with Destination Medical Center and University of Minnesota School of Design. A part of this work will be to identify 7-10 participants to help with this project. I applaud their efforts to ensure that people with physical limitations, homeowners who want to stay in their current living situation, care staff, individuals moving to senior housing, those interested in multigenerational housing, and others have a voice at the table.
AARP has also embraced age-friendly housing initiatives as one part of their Livable Communities framework. The goal is to help communities become better places to age well in. The Livable Communities initiative is focused around eight domains of livability centered around aspects of daily and community life. The domains are inter-woven and have an impact on each other: Transportation, Housing, Social participation, Respect and social inclusion, Civic participation and employment, Communication/information, Community support/health services, and Outdoor spaces/buildings.
The Age-Friendly Olmsted County (AFOC) Community Assessment Committee is led by community partners which include County Government, In the City for Good and key community organizations. Housing initiatives are just one of the areas that this cross-sector group is dedicated to working on to ensure that Olmsted County residents have what they need to age well in the community of their choice. A part of this work will be to develop a five-year process that includes an Age-friendly Community Assessment Report and 3-year action plan.
My husband and I built our accessible home using universal design features in the early 1990’s. One of the best features is the main floor laundry among others!
Finding Ways to Engage at Every Age,