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Housing Geared Around Parks for Aging Residents

A new report just released by AARP’s Public Policy Institute and authored by the Center for Housing Policy says that housing that is affordable, accessible and well-connected to services is essential to addressing the challenges older adults face. The report:

Even if older adults cannot or choose not to remain in their homes as their abilities change, they should have the opportunity to remain in the same community with the neighbors, friends, relatives, doctors, restaurants, parks, and services with which they are familiar. In fact, 85 percent of older adults agreed that if they can no longer live in their home, they would at least like to remain in their local community for as long as possible.

The report later says that “because some older adults cannot or choose not to drive, communities also need to ensure that important services and amenities are integrated with residential developments and are accessible via a comprehensive public transit system.”

Many senior living residences are built in very pastoral settings with green spaces, gardens and trails for residents — but they are hardly accessible in any other way than by car. As the report suggests, housing should be considered that allows residents to get around in ways other than by car, and keep that access to green spaces through close, safely walkable and aptly programmed and designed public parks.

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