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Aging in Place- Scorecard

by Louis on August 27, 2010

What is Aging in Place?

  • a movement
  • a policy approach
  • an industry
  • a housing and care alternative
  • a solution
  • a dream

At the most pressing, Aging in Place is a response to the coming hordes, silver tsunami, age wave, opportunity – whatever you call the approaching demographic reality. However you characterize the increasing numbers of older citizens and the need to house and care for them with dignity we need good solutions scaled to match the problem. In the past week we have seen the good news approach of the fantastic Jennifer Ludden/NPR series on Aging in Place. I wrote a few comments on the NPR site, gently playing devil’s advocate about the flip side of her cup 3/4 full series.

We need to look at some of our leadership sources: the federal government is one and non-profits/foundations is another. The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers just released a report on the first year of their aging issues working group.

The Working Group on Aging (WGA) is one year old!  In its first year, the group has
learned and done a lot – and has much more to accomplish in order to strengthen under-
standing of aging services and programs in the region and create a framework for
A few lessons learned so far…

• Both the country and our region are confronting a “senior tsunami,” and
we are not prepared.
• DC has one of the highest rates per capita of low-income older adults in
the country.
• Seniors increasingly live in the suburbs, but suburban communities are
not designed to efficiently and affordably deliver needed services.
• The current healthcare system focuses on curing ailments rather than
preventing them.
• Today, we need more trained caregivers than elementary school teach-
ers – and this need will grow for the next 35 years.
• Currently, only seven percent of WG members have aging as a funding

I have a feeling this assessment is probably applicable across the country. It is a needed reality check. There are some folks paying attention. There are some fine ideas out there. There are some good model programs. There is lots of need not being addressed. The growth of need will soon far outpace the funding and implementation of  solutions.

Folks, we are facing a crisis. We have a narrow window to get our act together.

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