Authors: Robert Schafer
January 1, 1999
Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University
This paper explores the housing choices of America's elderly households drawing on data from the recently available Assets and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest-Old (AHEAD) survey. By 2030, America's elderly population is expected to be 20 percent of the population. Very few of the elderly reside in assisted living communities designed for the elderly, around three percent. About ten percent live in shared housing (units where a move has occurred so that an elderly person can live with a non-elderly person and receive help), with about seven percent in 60 plus communities without assistance, and five percent in supported housing (units where the elderly household is receiving support services from outside the household). Three-quarters of the elderly live in conventional housing, which is consistent with surveys showing that the elderly strongly desire to age in their own homes. Conventional housing is even the choice of the majority of those elderly who have moved recently.
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