This morning I read an interview with Henry Cisneros, HUD Secretary under President Clinton. In the interview, he was talking about his mother and baby boomers. His 87-year-old mother lives in the same house that she and her husband bought when they were first married and it's across the street from her now deceased parent's home.
He notes the importance of making changes in her house in order to make it easier for her to function. Such changes included as a ramp rather than stairs leading to the home, an elevated toilet, a walk-in shower, lower sinks, window guards, alarms and outdoor lighting. He says that we should all be considering such changes for our elderly parents. In addition, he said that 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day and that more needs to be done to support aging Americans. Communities are being developed for the soon-to-be elderly with shopping centers in walking distance, supportive people around them, age related home improvements, along with adjacent parks, recreation and transit. We need to remake our older communities with the aged in mind, but affordability has to be a major consideration. Secretary Cisneros closes with people who live independently are much less of a burden on society and he's right.