Infrastructure

Lack of infrastructure is a key challenge in rural aging

The majority of older people want to age in place, but a shortage of safe, affordable housing, transportation options, broadband internet, and other rural infrastructure can make it difficult to remain at home.

Key Topics

Poverty

The increased prevalence of poverty among rural seniors makes it especially challenging to afford basic needs and access support services.

Safety

Few homes are built with aging and disabled-access in mind, forcing many seniors to move as they get older. Overdue repairs and structural decline can make housing unsafe.

Financial issues

Most seniors live on fixed incomes. Rising costs of food, rent, prescription drugs, in-home care, and other needs can challenge their ability to make ends meet.

Cost-efficient

Senior communities, assisted living facilities, and local rental housing are often more expensive than seniors can afford.

Transportation

Rural seniors must travel greater distances to access shopping, activities, and healthcare, but public transportation, cabs, and ride-share services are not prevalent.

Internet access

Nearly 40% of rural Americans lack broadband internet access, putting digital communications, telehealth, and other innovations out of reach of many rural seniors.

Enhancing infrastructure to facilitate aging in place

Community investments in housing, transportation, internet connectivity, and other infrastructure can reduce the challenges of rural aging.

Rural Community Development

Development of affordable rental stock and senior-friendly neighborhoods can help seniors remain at home in their communities.

Making seniors’ home a better fit

It takes a team to help seniors live at home more comfortably and safely. A Certified Aging-in-Place (CAP) specialist or Occupational Therapist can provide the helpful tips and guidance they need.

Blue Zones improves the big picture for seniors

When Albert Lea became a Blue Zones community, the benefits were undeniable. Healthcare costs dropped, property values increased, and life expectancy went up.

A new take on Retirement Communities

A growing number of Baby Boomers are saying no to traditional retirement housing and the isolation it can bring. Instead, they’re exploring a new and more social concept called senior “cohousing.”

Putting love at the heart of care

Saint Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Residence creates a community of care, based in love. It is known for intergenerational living and an attentive staff that provides support for the whole family.

Financing & Micro-Financing

Stakeholders can connect seniors to existing and new financial services options appropriate for financing home repairs and meeting short-term needs.

The role of innovation in rural aging

A report from Grantmakers in Aging addresses the misconceptions around rural aging and the real challenges isolated citizens face every day. It also explores innovative approaches to solving mobility problems and new technologies that lie ahead.

Retrofitting

Volunteer organizations, businesses, and agencies can help seniors repair and retrofit homes to make them safe and accessible for older residents.

Making seniors’ home a better fit

It takes a team to help seniors live at home more comfortably and safely. A Certified Aging-in-Place (CAP) specialist or Occupational Therapist can provide the helpful tips and guidance they need.

Transportation

Public, private, and volunteer transportation solutions should be integrated to improve older Americans’ access to services and activities in town.

Connecting seniors with their transportation needs

Tivity Health partners with Senior Ride Nashville to connect volunteer drivers with elderly people who no longer drive. This service gives older adults the ability to get around town, foster relationships with community members, and maintain a vibrant mobile well-being.

HealthTran puts healthcare within reach

HealthTran is proving to be a lifesaver for seniors and disabled citizens who live in remote areas of Minnesota. The program provides non-emergency transportation to people who are unable to travel on their own.

Internet

Policies should be advanced to help bring affordable broadband access to rural seniors. Computer training opportunities must also be expanded.

Keeping seniors connected and engaged

Internet Essentials, a program from Comcast, makes it easier and more affordable for seniors to connect with friends and family. The program includes a free computer and training classes.

Bringing affordable broadband to seniors

Originally, Internet Essentials from Comcast was designed to provide affordable broadband service for low-income families. Today, the program has expanded its offering to thousands of seniors.

Helping seniors bridge the tech divide

As the world becomes more tech-driven, TeachSD is taking steps to make sure seniors are not left out. The program connects tech-savvy young volunteers with adults to help them learn to use new devices, apps, and plaftorms.

Tech and trends in rural transportation

Seniors living in rural areas continue to struggle with finding safe, reliable transportation. Grantmakers in Aging’s White Paper explores tech-enabled solutions that are transforming the way people in isolated communities live, move and socialize.