Few Boomers, Communities Prepared for Aging
Less than half the nation’s communities are prepared for the more than 72 million seniors who will be living in the United States by 2030 and who will be healthier, wealthier and more active than their predecessors, according to panelists at the Remodeling Show in Las Vegas last month.
In addition, the panelists said, only about 16% of the home owners in this aging population group have made the home modifications needed to allow them to age in place.
Panelists from AARP, NAHB Remodelers and the American Occupational Therapists Association (AOTA), a partnership formed to help this population age, discussed livable communities and aging in place.
Seniors want independence, choice and access to public services and public spaces that promote independence, said Michael O’Neal, of AARP’s Livable Communities program.
“Livable communities offers affordable and appropriate housing, supportive services and adequate mobility options,” said O’Neal. “Together, these will facilitate personal independence and the engagement of residents in social and civic life.”
As people age, their medical conditions change and they undergo psychosocial changes as well — such as loss of control or privacy and fear of falling, said Dr. Carla Chase, of the occupational therapy college department at Western Michigan University.
Changes in the environment, through remodeling, can help seniors cope with a variety of issues and make their community more livable, she said.
“Aging-in-place clients are looking for great design and safe and comfortable surroundings,” said Bill Owens, CGR, CAPS, from Owens Construction in Powell, Ohio. “It is a hot topic and it can be profitable.”
For remodelers, the partnership between AARP, NAHB Remodelers and AOTA was formed to:
- Create consumer demand for remodelers who understand aging-in-place concepts.
- Understand the benefits of partnering with occupational therapists to better meet the needs of home owners who want to age in place.
- Learn the marketing language that resonates with seniors who are considering aging-in-place remodeling.
- Learn the importance of “individualized” customization in the aging-in-place market.
More information about aging-in-place, CAPS remodelers and slides from the discussion are available online.
Get the Advantage at IBS
Take advantage of the pre-show courses offered Feb. 9-12 at the 2008 International Builders’ Show in Orlando.
Pre-show courses are intensive, day-long or multiple-day programs designed to provide in-depth knowledge of a particular topic. Some of the courses may count towards an NAHB designation.
Courses for 2008 include “Green Building for Building Professionals,” “Business Accounting and Job Cost” and more.
For more information on pre-show courses, contact The NAHB University of Housing’s Office of the Registrar at 800-368-5242 x8338, or e-mail email@example.com.