‘We Should Talk’: Cross-Sector Conversations on Livable Communities Show Great Promise

By Rodney Harrell and Stephanie K. Firestone The thousands of community planners who will come together this May at the American Planning Association’s (APA) National Planning Conference are increasingly aware of a demographic trend: Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population will be over age 65 by 2030. Translation: Planners need to get together with aging network professionals and talk! Why? Many aging network professionals are in the business of designing plans with individuals to help them to thrive in …

We Must Make Our Communities More Livable for All

This post originally appeared in the IAGG 2017 Bridge blog. Across the globe populations are aging, and this far-reaching change is happening much faster than most people realize. In just five years, the number of older persons will surpass one billion; they are already a fast-growing presence in cities and towns of all sizes, every region and all segments of society.   Photo courtesy of Dan Burden This change provides countries across the globe with a great opportunity, because older …

Redefining Home to Address the Future of Housing

by Rodney Harrell with Shannon Guzman and Dan Soliman   In 1961, AARP’s founder, Ethel Andrus, presented President Dwight Eisenhower with Freedom House. The scale model of a uniquely designed home contained what we would now call universal design features that allow people to stay in their homes as they age. Fifty-seven years later, we continue to implement that vision. This morning in Memphis, Walter Moody, a veteran who has faced a range of life challenges including housing instability, is …

HIVE Buzzes With Talk About Aging-Friendly Housing

“Who here,” asks architect Sarah Susanka, addressing a packed ballroom of housing industry professionals at the 2016 HIVE (housing innovation, vision and economics) Conference in Los Angeles, “is looking forward to retiring?” Several arms shoot into the air. “Who here,” she repeats, “is looking forward to moving to an active adult community?” A handful of hands are raised, accompanied by a chorus of laughter. “Who’s looking forward to living in an assisted-living facility?” she asks the crowd at the Hanley …

What the Spending Bill Means for Older Americans

The $1.1 trillion spending bill will do more than keep the federal government open well into next year. Nearly half of the appropriations will go toward non-defense programs, and in some cases, the bill directs more money to programs that benefit the lives of Americans age 50 and up. “This bill not only avoids the deep cuts to scores of critical programs, it provides noteworthy increases for many services critical to older Americans, including health, nutrition and caregiver services, as …

We Need to Create Communities for a Lifetime

Too many of us are outgrowing our homes and communities. They’re not becoming too small, like children’s clothes, but they just don’t fit us very well as we get older. It’s time to make some changes. So to advance the conversation about what the future of housing might look like, AARP and AARP Foundation collaborated with the Atlantic and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to organize a two-day summit on this critical issue last week. The summit’s …