Challenges of Housing for Seniors

Abraham Biderman

· Housing
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In the United States, there is a fast-growing number of elderly people facing housing challenges. This poor state of housing has been a constant problem for years, and it continues to deter comfortable aging. The increase in the standard of living, health and mental issues, limited options, and inaccessibility are some challenges seniors face.

It has become difficult for the elderly population to find affordable, safe housing while also meeting their special needs. These difficulties negatively affect their quality of life, health, and ability to live independently in their societies.

Finding low-cost housing is one of the most difficult challenges for the elderly. Old people spend more of their income on housing. However, almost every year, the availability of low-cost housing for seniors diminishes. This situation will only worsen because there aren't enough affordable houses to accommodate the number of seniors who need or can afford them. A large percentage of the population of older adults have to deal with the burden of mortgage debts that continue to double and triple over time.

Things aren't much better for most seniors who own their houses. In retirement, incomes reduce, leaving the elderly with increased health care, tax, housing costs, and declining incomes. Rising energy costs, maintenance costs, and property tax increases will continue to strain their budget as the standard of living rises.

Families struggle to maintain their homes or even make the required modifications that make life easier and safer for seniors due to rising housing costs and declining incomes. This makes it more difficult to pay for necessary health services. These economic pressures adversely affect many seniors entering retirement with debt, including mortgage debt. Only seniors with sizable savings and investments and household wealth will be able to afford the housing costs, taxes, and modifications required to age safely and comfortably.

The current housing stock is inadequate for meeting the needs of older people who have mental or health issues. They barely have access to support and modifications that will ease their day-to-day living in their homes.

Government support services are only available to serve the elderly in low-income housing communities or nursing homes. Unfortunately, becoming eligible for these programs is always a difficult process. Individuals who do not qualify for these government services that assist their houses must meet certain income requirements.

Aside from suffering from inaccessibility to supportive services, seniors always struggle with the location of their houses. Most houses are far from shopping points, medical care, and recreational activities that contribute to their quality of life.

Further, as they age and develop more health issues, some seniors prefer to remain in their own homes. Managing their homes to accommodate the necessary changes, on the other hand, becomes a challenge. Their age, mental or physical conditions necessitate special needs and provisions, sometimes prohibitively expensive. Seniors with physical disabilities often find it hard to move as easily as possible. This makes it necessary to take on expensive modifications to accommodate their special needs.

Some disabilities are more severe than others, and most seniors need financial help to afford them. Because unfortunately, the majority of these modifications for severe disabilities are prohibitively expensive for the average elderly person or family.