11 April 2008

Driving and Walking When Old

An interesting article below about programs that assist older people so that they can stay in their homes. I was wondering how some of these people may want to live in a city so that they don't have to drive a car at night. I know many older people have trouble driving, especially at night. Could they buy a condo along the riverfront and take a streetcar to Findlay Market, and live mostly car-free?

Family-Friendly 'Burbs Turn Senior Friendly

Programs provide chefs, home repair and other services to help suburban seniors age in place.

... a growing movement nationwide to help aging suburbanites ... stay in their homes safely for as long as possible. About 90% of retirees and 80% of baby-boomers say they want to remain in their longtime neighborhoods indefinitely, according to an AARP survey.

Like many seniors, Youngblood moved to the suburbs when her kids were young. But now those family-friendly communities of the 1960s are graying and becoming what's known as naturally occurring retirement communities, or NORCs. Following this generation are their children. "More baby-boomers have lived in the suburbs than any other generation, and the majority will continue to age in place or move within their same community," says William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of a report, Mapping the Growth of Older America: Seniors and Boomers in the Early 21st Century. Frey says they'll require health care, transportation, social services and other public aid.

Many community planners believe that aging-in-place programs could help many elderly homeowners avoid institutional care. More than 100 programs exist in places as diverse as Boston's Beacon Hill, New Canaan, Conn., Madison, Wis., and the Indianapolis suburbs. Often, it's the small, inexpensive service -- a ride to a doctor's appointment or home-delivered groceries -- that can make all the difference.
In some communities, the residents themselves are creating aging-in-place programs. If you're interested in starting one, look at Staying Put in New Canaan, a program modeled on Boston's Beacon Hill Village. Both programs are nonprofit membership organizations created by local residents.

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