Aging in Place: High Demand in Search of Solutions

Survey after survey affirms that the vast majority of people plan to age in their own homes rather than downsizing or moving to retirement communities.  And most experts tend to agree it’s a worthy goal — but one that requires a lot of preparation. 

As aging in place builds momentum, so does the commentary.  In the past couple of weeks, we’ve noted these particularly insightful items:

  • The number of households headed by someone age 70 or older will surge by 42 percent from 2015 to 2025, according to a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University entitled “The State of The Nation’s Housing.”
  • The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) now estimates that over 70 percent of homeowners doing a remodeling project are planning for the future needs of themselves or their parents. This trend has become so prevalent, that the NAHB established the Certified Aging in Place (CAPS) designation, where select builders and remodelers become certified as an Aging in Place Specialist.  A CAPS Specialist is trained in Universal Design Principals, which makes a home more livable for all ages and stages of life. 
  • Aging in place expert Louis Tennenbaum writes that “aging in place is the best long-term care strategy.”  But, he points out, you have to have a well-thought-out strategy for how to make it work.
  • Because things can and do go wrong.  Howard Gleckman writes at about a new study from University of Minnesota that shows frail seniors who live at home are hospitalized more often.  It points to gaps in care that can occur in the home setting.

Clearly, there is a lot to sort out here.  Who will bring an integrated “aging in place and community” solution to the marketplace that combines housing design/remodeling, wellness services that help keep people healthy longer, physician visits, financial modeling and planning, and ultimately at-home services, care and engagement?

We invite you to share your thoughts in the “comments” section below.