Most U.S. cities are not equipped with the kinds of services needed to accommodate the baby boomer generation as it begins to leave the workforce and enter retirement, reports the Associated Press, and many of these individuals are dealing with dwindling budgets.
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging conducted a survey six years ago that showed less than half of participating cities were prepared to deal with the needs of older folks, says the article, and said at the time the results should “serve as a wake-up call” for communities to begin planning. Five years down the road, the same group revisited the survey—and found that little has changed.
Because of the tight economy, many communities have had to curb or even eliminate programs providing meals to the homebound or transportation services for shopping or doctor’s visits, according to the AP:
These cuts, advocates for older Americans say, are coming when the services are needed more than ever. And those needs will grow tremendously over the next two decades.
The nation’s population of those 65 and older will double between 2000 and 2030, according to the federal Administration on Aging. That adds up to one out of every five Americans — 72.1 million people.
Just eight years from now, researchers say, a quarter of all Ohio’s residents in half of the state’s counties will be 60 or older. Arizona and Pennsylvania project that one in four of its residents will be over the age of 60 by 2020.
“The bottom line is, the baby boomers are hitting,” Chuck Gehring of LifeCare Alliance, an agency serving seniors in central Ohio, told The Columbus Dispatch. “Are communities prepared for this? No.”
Six years ago, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging said less than half of cities it surveyed at the time were preparing to deal with the needs of older folks. It said the results “should serve as a wake-up call for communities to begin planning now.”
Finding ways for people to remain in their communities will be crucial, with top concerns including adequate transportation and renovating homes and apartments to allow for aging in place.
The full article can be read here.
Written by Alyssa Gerace