No, this isn’t a new condominium for the city’s young, urban professionals, but rather an affordable housing unit that has become a haven for the city’s low-income older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) residents.
AARP’s Home Safety Checklist can help you identify and address various hazards around your home. Every year in the United States, nearly one-third of people age-65+ experience a fall. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. More than half of all fall injuries among older people occur inside the home, and an additional 23 percent happen outside, but near the home.
A new alternative to current senior living has emerged in cities across the United States, including the major metropolitain area New York City. Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, or “NORCs,” is a concept that fosters aging in place for older populations. Some 22% of those living in the Upper West Side – folks who settled into condos or rent controlled apartments in the 70’s – have now transitioned into their golden years. This is higher than the citywide average of 17%. The communities exist on their own, however, there is an opportunity and a need for independent amenities to aid its residents.
An article in the Washington Post highlighted the important benefits of aging-in-place, undertaking home modifications, and joining a “Village” group. The article profiles Bill Cousins, 88, who realized that he was having trouble moving around his home. Cousins installed an elevator, increased the maneuvering space in his kitchen, added a ramp to the back of the house, and lowered light switches to an accessible location. Cousins also joined a “Village” group run mainly by volunteers who help him by providing concierge services, such as as taking him to doctor’s appointments and checking in on him from time to time.
This report by the Milken Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan economic think tank, explores the best cities for aging in the US. The report looked at 359 metro areas across the US and generated a composite ranking for each, based on eight sub-components (general indicators, health care, wellness, living arrangements, transportation/convenience, financial well-being, employment/education, and community engagement). Additionally, they recognized that a 65-year-old’s needs likely differ from those of an 80-year-old. By using the same data but weighting the indicators differently, two indexes were created, one for ages 65 through 79 and another for age 80 and up. For instance education/employment was considered to play a bigger role for residents ages 65-79 than for those who were 80+. Their top picks might surprise you.
The Monitor has a wonderful interview with Wendy Rogers, PhD, director of the Human Factors and Aging Laboratory at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, describing how she understands the process of designing and developing technology for older adults. Rogers talks about the labratory’s “Aware Home,” a house-like environment where they can test out new technologies, like robots and health monitoring systems. She goes on to explain how decreases in motor control, as well as perceptual and conceptual abilities need to be taken into account when designing for older adults. While younger users can sometimes compensate for a product’s or website’s poor design, this is harder for older users. Rogers explains that designing something to be easily used by older adults usually results in a product that is easier for everyone to use. Rogers also speaks about how some companies are starting to recognize the older adults as a market that they need to pay attention to and design for.
You may have heard this term before but not understood what it means or how it affects us as we age. A complete street is one that accommodates all people who use a roadway, not just those in cars. It offers a safe way for people to travel, regardless of their age, ability or mode of transportation-whether walking, biking, using transit or driving a car. Where we have complete streets, people have choices in transportation, including an option that is right outside each door, is affordable and is healthy.
A report published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and HelpAge International investigates the challenges and solutions of aging in the 21st Century. The report is a collaboration of over 20 United Nations entities and major international organizations working in the field of ageing, and it reviews policies and action taken by governments and other stakeholders since the Second World Assembly on Ageing in 2002. The report provides examples of innovative programs that address population aging and the concerns of older persons, and captures the voices of some 1300 older persons themselves.
Pattie Moore, a gerontologist who studies the social science of aging, designs products with older adults in mind. When Moore was 26 she disguised herself as an 80-year old woman and taveled to over 100 cities across the US and Canada.
Moore had nine characters, ranging from a homeless woman to a rich woman with a chauffer. Her experience, as well as her expertise in gerontology, have informed her designs. Moore’s design clients have included OXO, Herman Miller Healthcare, AT&T, Corning Glass, and 3M.
In 2011, the American Institute of Architect’s Design for Aging Knowledge Community conducted its eleventh biennial Design for Aging Review design competition (DFAR11). This report on the DFAR11 describes the changing landscape of today’s senior living industry and demonstrates how the unique and innovative features of the award-winning facilities can serve as a bench mark for others working in the field of senior living.