Webinar on housing for seniors set for Tuesday

Published 7:09 pm Sunday, January 11, 2015

With the Baby Boomer generation turning 65, the United States is experiencing growth among older adults that it has never seen before.

According to U.S. Census projections, the over-65 population is expected to grow by 30 million individuals by the year 2030, jumping from 13 percent of the national population to 20 percent, a 35 percent increase over the next 20 years.

Rural America is older and aging faster than the nation overall, with 15.7 percent of t he rural population over the age of 65 compared to 13 percent nationally. The relatively older composition of the rural population is not solely a factor of natural population change but is also impacted by economic conditions. The increasing senior population in rural America will add new stresses to housing, health care and social services that will be felt by parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents and even the rest of the general population. This demographic change is not a negative development, as long as the proper planning and preparation takes place. To ensure all individuals are able to live safely, comfortably, and in dignity as they age, it is imperative to first understand the issues, concerns and trends that exist.

The Housing Assistance Council is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 13, called “Rural Seniors and Their Homes: Planning for a Rapidly Aging Rural America” to learn more about the demographic, economic and housing trends of seniors and near-seniors in rural America as well as their housing options.

Housing provides shelter and other economic security, but for many seniors the home has even greater value. Homes contain reminders of life experiences and serve as a catalyst for active and healthy lifestyles. Seniors have special housing needs, as access to health services, supportive services and even companionship become critical and must be considered. The impacts of these issues play a considerable role in seniors’ quality of life and cannot be overemphasized.

For more information, see the Housing Assistance Council’s report on “Housing an Aging Rural America: Rural Seniors and their Homes” at www.ruralhome.org/sct-information/mn-hac-research/mn-rrr/1035-rrr-rural-seniors-2014.