Allyson Schwartz and Anand Parekh: Linking housing, health care for aging seniors

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Over the next 15 years, our nation’s senior population will nearly double, approaching 73 million by 2030 and accounting for more than one in five Americans.

Philadelphia and Pennsylvania stand at the forefront of this dramatic demographic transformation. Philadelphia already has the highest proportion of senior citizens among the nation’s 10 largest cities, a position it is unlikely to cede anytime soon. At the same time, the number of older adults in Pennsylvania now exceeds 2.1 million, the fifth-highest of any state in the country.

Our rapidly aging society requires us to more effectively integrate our housing and health-care systems to enable America’s seniors to live healthy, independent lives for as long as possible in the communities they know.

A growing body of research shows our homes and communities have the potential to be powerful platforms for the delivery of health care and other supportive services that can improve the health of older adults and reduce medical costs.

Identifying how best to capture these opportunities is the goal of the Bipartisan Policy Center‘s Senior Health and Housing Task Force.

Earlier this year, we released a number of recommendations in our report, Healthy Aging Begins at Home and hosted a public forum with the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging to discuss these critical issues.

KEYWORDS: ALLYSON SCHWARTZ, ANAND PAREKH, BPC OP-EDS, PHILADELPHIA, SENIOR HEALTH AND HOUSING TASK FORCE