Resources for seniors choosing to age in place

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 there were 270 senior citizens (age 65+) in Census Tract 63.02, which encompasses Elmwood. Many of the homes built here in the 1950s are even occupied by original owners, some with more resources and support than others.

A national survey by AARP reveals that about 90 percent of seniors intend to continue living in their current homes for the next five to 10 years. However, "Approximately 15 percent of seniors surveyed say they are not confident their finances will last through their retirement years, and 8 percent have no financial plan for retirement." Clearly, aging in place is a goal for most seniors but one that is unattainable for many.

Depending on your financial ability and need for personal space, options can include one or a combination of options like a reverse mortgage or sharing your home with a roommate. A startup in California wants to buy a fraction of your home equity in exchange for easily accessible cash. Here at home, the City of Dallas is very close to allowing accessory dwelling units – sometimes known as "granny flats" – which could be a source of rental income for seniors.

Some seniors may just need help with monthly bills. The National Council on Aging has developed a website, www.benefitscheckup.org, that generates a personalized list of benefits such as free reverse mortgage counseling, homeowners insurance assistance, grants to help seniors pay for past-due utilities, wireless phone service through Lifeline and more. 

Do you have other resources for seniors not mentioned here? Better yet, do you know of an elderly neighbor in Elmwood that could use some help with chores or even meal delivery? In honor of the upcoming National Senior Citizens Day (Aug. 21), let's reach out to more elderly folks who may not have a support system of family and friends, or maybe share some ideas on how we can use new services like Uber, Favor and Instacart to help our most vulnerable neighbors. Feel free to discuss in the comments or bring your ideas to the next ENA meeting!