Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Just as Dorothy and friends walked down the yellow brick road, wondering what they would run into, anyone looking for affordable senior housing might wonder the same thing, when trying to “walk” the maze of options, or lack thereof.
With so few options one has to ask, is there even an awareness that older adults struggle to locate and secure affordable housing, particularly affordable housing with supportive services?
Recognizing the need for more, and better, affordable housing for seniors is the first step to understanding and addressing the need.
AARP Foundation and HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research have signed a Memorandum of Understanding promoting coordination of research and initiatives to address the problem of inadequate, unaffordable housing for low-income older adults. One’s home should provide safety and security, where one can age well and age in place.
Having affordable and stable housing is the foundation for aging well and aging in place.
Moreover, affordable, stable and supportive housing is the footing that is needed for preventative measures like wellness visits, preparation and delivery of healthy meals, and socialization.
The problem is, communities in need are not seeing affordable housing being built. Despite the continuing and growing need for affordable housing for low- and moderate-income seniors and people with disabilities, funding to increase the supply has been severely constrained or eliminated (Libson, 2012). Much of what is built is housing with services accompanied by a hefty price tag in areas that predominately serve middle to upper class.
Here at H.O.M.E. we strive to provide an integrated, affordable and preventative model of housing for older adults, particularly for those who live alone.
What is the alternative if others do not follow suit? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 29% (13.6 million) of all noninstitutionalized older persons in 2016 lived alone. Furthermore, the proportion living alone increases with advanced age—46% of women over 75 live alone—along with an increase in need for supportive services.
Society will continue to incur high health care costs for health episodes that could have been prevented; premature placement in nursing homes will continue to occur; multiple yet avoidable hospital visits will continue to prevail; an overall decline in health and quality of life will be experienced.
There needs to be a long-term plan for a long-term need. Our population is aging rapidly and our housing supply is not equipped for this change.
So you might be asking yourself, “What affordable housing, with support services, is available for older adults?” The answer is, very little. Hence, the need to think and plan ahead only becomes exasperated by the lack of resources.
Start learning now what might be a good fit for you. You might surprise yourself with some of the perks and benefits that come along with living in a communal space with others such as a sense of community, a reduction in isolation, and we here at H.O.M.E. say, “Privacy when you want it. Assistance when you need it”.
Find out more about our unique housing model, and if it's a solution for you.
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