For Kansas City, having affordable and suitable housing options for older adults is arguably the most critical part of having a community poised to allow its seniors the dignity of aging in place. Many factors affect a person’s ability to stay in their home as they age including design and layout of the home, financing options that allow seniors to live on retirement budgets, and state waiver programs that provide medical and other supports to individuals who choose to stay at home in their later years. Kansas City will soon see a major increase in its older adult population and it has the major challenge of providing suitable housing for those seniors.
In 2013 Kansas City hosted a workshop to discuss the issues facing its senior community and compiled their findings into a comprehensive report that could serve as a road map for policy makers, developers and other community members, on how to best serve the senior population.
Older adults are not finding affordable housing options that would allow them to live independently as they age. The Kansas City workshop explored the specific challenges that add to the central housing crisis for older adults. Solutions are provided for each challenge to illustrate the changes that can be made to ensure aging in place becomes a viable option for all older adults. Some of the challenges addressed in the report include housing designs that are not suitable for aging adults, the struggle for financial security among older adults, dated zoning policies that limit affordable housing options, and Medicare/Medicaid policies that limit the ability of older adults to age in place.
In addition to the challenges and solutions addressed in this report, brief case studies are provided to highlight housing strategies that offer affordable and friendly housing options to older adults. These approaches include housing cooperatives and the naturally occurring retirement community (NORC) model.
To read the entire report, please visit http://tinyurl.com/zqyetx3