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Boomers- What will be our impact!

by Louis on February 26, 2010

I previewed bits of the upcoming CNBC /Tom Brokaw special report on boomers. Studying cohorts we know boomers are a huge cohort with a changing impact on everything they touch. Boomer are often called demanding. How will boomers impact housing and care as we get older?

I am no seer but I’ve staked my career on boomers not wanting to move out of homes they control, not leaving the detail of their care to others, not wanting formal looking places for everyday living. Boomer plans for retirement living are different than the common impression of retirement migration.

My view, often misassumed, is not that we won’t move from the homes where we raise our children or live for many years. We move for great reasons- climate, recreation, education, family- all great lifestyle reasons to move. My concern is that the homes and communities are appropriate to the reality of aging. I don’t want to be forced from my home for a medical event- like a stroke or diabetes. I don’t believe vibrant life is abandoned because we need some assistance from devices, family, friends or aids. But it is true we are too often forced to move if our house and community are not right. I expect boomers to reject that reality.

So how do I see boomer impact on housing and care? We are going to stamp our feet and let the world know that we DEMAND dignity, respect, choice and control of our homes and the care we need. We will want our homes built or remodeled for our needs. We will demand livable infrastructure in our communities.

The Atlanta Regional Commission has a Lifelong Communities Initiative to help define what is needed-
Creating Lifelong Communities includes the development of programs, policies and funding that allow all people to remain in their homes and communities as long as they desire. The Lifelong Communities Initiative of ARC has three goals:
1. Promote housing and transportation options

2. encourage healthy lifestyles

3. expand information and access

In order for older adults to remain in the community, they must have housing choices and alternatives to the car. They must be able to become and stay active. They need access to basic and preventive healthcare. Older adults and their families must be empowered with information so they can maximize their own resources and plan for their futures.

My recent blog post contrasting our entitled feelings about handicap parking placards to our dismal planning for changing physical condition brought a comment from Gael Tannenbaum (no relation). Gael is right. We should not consider planning for Aging in Place a stigma. Boomers should demand this entitlement!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Hana Hammer March 2, 2010 at 2:58 am

I deal with vibrant Baby Boomers in remodeling daily. You are so correct they are DEMANDING great design that will give them independency and safety. They will not be forced to move.

This is a trend that can not be ignored.


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