So what does this mean for the goal of aging in place? It means we need more great places to begin with -- places where as people grow older, they can still have a high quality of life despite their changing abilities. Walkable places allow seniors greater flexibility and independence; when an elderly person is no longer comfortable driving, she can easily walk to get groceries or hop the bus to visit her doctor. . . .
|Ed Yourdon via Flickr|
Despite the trends of the last century, however, we can still incorporate walkability into built-out spaces, and thus preserve more of our independence as we age. As Christopher Leinberger found in his examination of walkable urban centers, “The new real estate paradigm is no longer city versus suburbia, it is walkable versus drivable.” He notes that retrofitting the suburbs is the biggest challenge of the next generation, but also cites multiple examples of suburbs with revitalized town centers such as Rockville and Silver Spring, Maryland. . . .
We know how to do this. We know how to create walkable places to live, and, in the case of some of our older city neighborhoods, we know how to nourish those that have long existed. A major benefit to those who live in these walkable urban centers is that they can keep living there as they grow older and their abilities change. . . .Click here for the rest of this article.