Aging in Place – Communities & Housing

Aging in Place is an essential part of healthy aging.  It means that people can stay in their homes and continue to stay independent as long as possible.

A 2008 Statistics Canada study found that 40% seniors living in institutions suffer from chronic pain, while 25% of those living in private households experience pain on a regular basis.  It is clear that staying active and staying in your own home are critical to staying healthy longer.  In order for this to be possible for as many people as possible, considerable thought must be put in to how we build not only homes, but entire communities.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offers tips on aging in place including information about house sharing, co-housing, trading of caregiving/minding services by the hour, and a Livable Homes Checklist which offers advice on modifying each room in your home.

 

How Can Communities Promote Active Aging?

Because transportation is critical to helping seniors to age in place STAR is working with community leaders to bring the transportation village to seniors.  If a person can get to medical appointments and stay connected to friends and family, they are much more likely to keep active and stay healthy.  Check out the STAR Supported Ride Programs to see if there is one in your area.

Communities can promote active aging by providing a diverse array of transportation services including walkable communities where people can walk from home to the services they need.

The University of Toronto Institute for Life Course and Aging has sponsored a project that considered how Toronto’s west-central neighbourhoods are equipped to facilitate aging in place and identified what barriers exist, as well as strategies to enhance the “livability” of these communities for older adults.

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies provides a wealth of information on housing issues including a significant study on Aging in Place by Kathryn Lawler.

The AARP has a booklet available online for creating Livable Communities:  An Evaluation Guide including information about creating communities that are walkable, safe and  providing necessary services including safe and accessible transportation.

Download the EPA’s Report on Building Active Communities.

Community Transportation Assistance Program, NCST, and Community Transportation Association webinar, Ride or Relocate? Transportation & Housing Options for Senior Adults. had the objective of quantifying the cost of living at home and riding transit versus relocating to an assisted living facility in North Dakota.

The Alberta Council on Aging has developed a Senior Friendly™ Communities Initiative to help communities and business be more accessible for seniors.

               Goals of the Senior Friendly™ Community Program

  • To assist local partnerships in the recruitment and training of a network of local individuals including Seniors and older volunteers who will work to make their own communities more Senior Friendly™ through the delivery of presentations and workshops and the completion of facility Check-ups.
  • To promote, foster and support Senior Friendly™ communities, businesses and services throughout the province.
  • To make more cohesive, intergenerationally friendly communitiess