The Feb. 7 Metro article “Finding the support to stay put” shone a much-needed spotlight on a major public policy challenge: the increasing number of Americans who wish to remain in their own homes and communities deep into their senior years. By 2030, the number of Americans age 65 or older will rise to nearly 73 million, and the overwhelming majority will wish to “age in place.” Unfortunately, this desire runs into a harsh reality: Most of our homes and neighborhoods, designed at an earlier time, are ill-equipped to support independent living by seniors.
The village networks highlighted by The Post are a wonderful way to help at-home seniors manage the demands of day-to-day living. Other private and nonprofit organizations have been at the forefront of identifying relatively simple steps that can make an existing home safer and more livable for an elderly person. Many state and local governments have developed innovative programs to assist seniors wishing to age in place.
But a much broader policy response, harnessing the best thinking and resources of the private and public sectors, is needed to match the scale of a challenge that will grow only more complex.
Henry Cisneros, Washington
The writer, co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission, was secretary of housing and urban development from 1993 to 1997.
More Letters to the Editor: