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Is Aging in Place Priceless? Essay

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The meaning of home to older adults transcends the financial and physical qualities of the brick and mortar. Gillsjo, Schwartz-Bardot, & Von Post (2011) suggested that “home was experienced as the place the older adult could not imagine living without, but also as the place one might be forced to leave” (p. 2). Notwithstanding an American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) survey (2010) which showed that the “majority of older adults polled preferred to age in place” (p. 1), the dilemma for many seniors is how to do so when faced with deteriorating housing conditions and “insufficient resources in retirement” (Neil & Neil, 2009, p. 53). In an effort to supplement inadequate retirement incomes, some seniors have capitalized on the “accumulated equity in their homes” (Kroleski, Ryan, & Bottiglieri, 2009, p. 37) through the provision of reverse mortgages. Other elderly homeowners faced with housing conditions that are considered unsafe or unacceptable by objective housing standards, have chosen to stay in their lifelong homes until they are forced to vacate, according to Dee Gillis, City of Gastonia Code Enforcement Administrator, (personal communication, March 23, 2011). Further, Oswald and Wahl (2005) suggested that many elderly homeowners have become oblivious to potential hazards and threats within the home, and have adapted to those environmental obstacles. While the purpose of housing standards and reverse mortgages may be to promote livability in existing housing, the unintended consequences of both may inevitably serve to displace elderly homeowners. Consequently, this paper will examine existing housing quality standards developed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and by one local mun...


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...ege, Center for Retirement Research Web site http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/2/27/46263009.pdf
Nahemow, L. (2000). The ecological theory of aging: Powell Lawton’s legacy. In R. L. Rubenstein, M. Moss, & M. H. Kleban (Eds.), The many dimensions of aging (pp. 22-40). New York: Springer.
Neil, B. A. & Neil, B. A. (2009, June). Is a reverse mortgage a viable option for baby boomers? Journal of Business and Economics Research, 7(6), 53-58.l
Oswald, F., & Wahl, H.-W. (2005). Dimensions of the meaning of home. In G. D. Rowles & H. Chaudhury (Eds.), Home and Identity in Late Life: International Perspectives (pp. 21-45). New York: Springer.
Travis, L. (2010, April). Protecting elderly homeowners: Reverse equity mortgages as a foreclosure intervention tool. Retrieved March 24, 2011 from http://academicarchive.snhu.edu/bitstream/handle/10474/1649/sced2010travis.pdf?sequence=2


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