and education are keys for seniors who want to retain their own
homes as they age
By Doris Goodman
October 3, 2006 – Los Angeles –
You don’t need to go to Florida to notice that the U.S. is aging:
you see us everywhere from the market to the movies. Over the last
century, the percentage of the population that is 65 and older
tripled from 4.1% in 1900 to 12.4% in 2004, around 36.3 million
people. By 2030, 20% of the population, one in five, will be over
Joe Peay, a Reverse Mortgage Specialist and member of
the National Aging in Place Council, was able to help
the author, Doris Goodman, pay off her original mortgage
and start earning an income from her home. The two are
now working together to promote National Aging in Place
Week, a week designed to educate seniors on the
resources available to help them remain in their own
homes throughout retirement.
While Americans are living longer, many are also living more
actively than older people did a generation ago: you see us
everywhere from the gym to the DMV. Still that’s not always the case
as increasing age and age-related illnesses take their toll.
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, some 12.1 million
Americans need assistance from others to carry out everyday
activities. We expect to live our active lives longer than ever, but
most of us don’t plan adequately to be able to maintain the
independence and mobility we are used to when age and illness start
to affect us.
One of the biggest areas of concern has been in housing, as
evidenced by the booming senior housing industry. There are
retirement communities on golf courses, 55+ apartments on
the next block and continuing care centers that can move you
from assisted living to full nursing care without leaving
But for most seniors, the goal is to stay in our own homes as long
as we’re able. The American Association of Retired Persons has
conducted a survey repeatedly over 20 years that shows that, given
the choice, over 84% of seniors want to remain in their own homes.
Eight-two percent report that when help is absolutely necessary,
they want it in their own homes.
To do that takes planning. Often your home will need to be
remodeled for safety and accessibility. You may need to find an
in-home care provider or know the local service agencies that can
provide assistance with everything from transportation to meals.
You’ll also have to plan financially; retirement savings have to
last longer and pay for ever-increasing expenses.
One important tool is long-term care insurance which is now offered
by most major life and health insurers. While generally associated
with covering the costs of living in a nursing home, most policies
will pay for bringing a health worker or aide into your home.
When retirement savings are not enough, home owners may find that
their home can provide supplemental income. Joe Peay, a reverse
mortgage specialist, is a member of the National Aging in Place
“We provide an option for people to be able to access equity in
their home that can be used to pay for home renovation and for
long-term health costs when retirement savings aren’t enough to
cover these expenses,” says Mr. Peay. A reverse mortgage is a device
for homeowners aged 62 and over to convert tax-free cash that can be
used for any purpose. It works like a conventional mortgage except
you don’t make payments so long as you remain in the home.
Mr. Peay is promoting National Aging in Place Week October 8-14, a
week designed to promote dialog and awareness of the health care,
financial and legal services and even design and building services,
that are available to help our growing aging population remain
living in their housing of choice.
“The decisions we make about long-term care affect our desires for
our own golden years and they can have a huge impact on our families
who may not have the resources to care for us as we age,” says Mr.
Peay. “It is important that seniors who do want to remain in their
own homes are aware of the many resources there are to help them.”
No question, you see us older Americans everywhere, including down
the block where we’ve been living for years.
For information on reverse mortgages or
other aging in place resources, contact Joe Peay at 888-388-6340.