Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can Suburbia Be More Livable?

The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009) ran a huge article on how communities can help older adults age in place by making the community more senior friendly - Making Suburbia More Livable.

Things that make suburbia really nice when you're young - privacy, spread out houses, driving everywhere -- make it very hard when you're older. When you can't drive, you can become isolated. A house with lots of land is hard to take care of. When you need help with everyday tasks, being far from the centers of care and transportation make things really challenging. That's why many older adults move to life care communities, senior living, assisted living, etc.

But as more people age and more people want to age in place, the suburbs may have to change. Some are being redesigned and rebuilt in certain areas of our country to create a space where senior can live independently without leaving the community.

I've love to see this happen in Darien, CT, where I live. We have one area that could be conducive to a mixed-use area that could have market-rate and affordable senior housing, shops, restaurants, activities, outdoor greenways and a social center. I'd love to see our big, local developers join together with town leaders to make something like this happen in the business district of Noroton Heights. Our senior center is in Noroton Heights, so it could be a fine tie-in, especially if the senior center could get some renovation at the same time.

I'm probably dreaming. But in any event, the article in the Journal is really worth reading and pondering. Maybe you can do something in your community. Here is a link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203674704574330801650897252.html

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