In the year 2000, there were thirty-five million Americans aged sixty-five or older. By the year 2030, there will be more than seventy million Americans in this age category placing one out of every five Americans in the sixty-five or older category. (“The State of Aging”, 2003) Older Americans have to be creative to find both suitable and affordable housing. Nursing home care used to be almost the only option for older Americans. However, the average price of nursing homes has risen to $50,000 a year.
(“Starting the Nursing Home Search”, n. d. ). The AAHSA, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, states that, “By the year 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care. People at age 65 face at least a 40 percent lifetime risk of entering a nursing home. ” (Aging Services, 2006). The population requiring nursing home or full-time care is only growing. This growth is at a rate at which our current systems can simply not keep up.
Due to these alarming statistics and the desire for independence, more and more older Americans are seeking ways that they can stay in their own homes for as long as possible. The AARP recommends several different options for older people trying to live in a home setting. One of the options is for the older person to create an accessory apartment within their existing home that would be rented out. This gives the senior more income, companionship, and the ability to stay in their current home.
Many seniors also create an accessory home within one of their children’s homes or build a cottage, or standalone living area, on their child’s property. (“A Home Within”, n. d. ) Having a loved one close by can add a sense of security for a senior with health problems who still desires some independence. Homesharing, the use of a roommate system, and living in a retirement community are other viable options for seniors. (“Homesharing”, n. d. ) Housing for seniors is a problem that has many more reforms and improvements to be made.
As a society, we must be aggressive in seeking out alternatives for seniors that help them to preserve their dignity while at the same time keeping their health and safety a priority. This is a challenge that our country must address in the near future.
AAHSA. “Aging Services in America: The Facts”. Retrieved November 27,2006 from http://www2. aahsa. org/aging_services/default. asp . AARP. “Starting the Nursing Home Search”. Retrieved November 27,2006 from http://www. aarp. org/families/housing_choices/nursing_homes/a2004-02-26-homesearch. html . AARP.
“Homesharing”. Retrieved November 27,2006 from http://www. aarp. org/families/housing_choices/other_options/a2004-02-26-homesharing. html . AARP. “Accessory Apartment: A Home Within A Home”. Retrieved November 27, 2006 from http://www. aarp. org/families/housing_choices/other_options/a2004-02-26-homewithinhome. html . The National Academy on an Aging Society and the Merck Institute of Aging and Health. “The State of Aging and Health in America”, 2003. Retrieved November 27, 2006 from http://www. agingsociety. org/agingsociety/pdf/state_of_aging_report. pdf .