U.S. Should Make ‘Life-Long Homes’ A Priority

I’d like to see us commit as a nation to creating lifelong homes. Only 4 percent of the 65-plus population goes to a nursing home. Most are at home for a long, long time. We should make this a priority, just as we did with creating more energy efficient homes. This could involve certifying a package of age-related home improvements — the kinds of things we did for my parents — and coming up with public and private strategies for financial support. Second, we ought to be thinking about how we accessorize communities for an aging population. Today, we build parks for children. Imagine a park where older people would have stations for exercise. Think about age-appropriate recreation facilities. Think about how we make transit available, so people who no longer drive can get to the doctor. As we build new communities we should focus on walkability — making sure that older people can walk to facilities they need, like groceries and pharmacies.