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Communities Must Plan for the Graying of America, CAI Says

4/17/1998  -  Alexandria, VA

Once clustered in traditional retirement destinations, more seniors are choosing to remain in their homes and grow old in familiar surroundings among friends and families, according to the Community Associations Institute. The impact of naturally occurring retirement communities on community associations and strategies for coping with aging residents are explored in CAI's recently published book, Aging in Place.

The average age of the American population is increasing dramatically, with more than 40 percent of owner-occupied housing inhabited by individuals 55 years of age and older. Senior citizens today are healthier, more active and more independent than any previous generation. But the decline of physical ability—the gradual loss of strength, coordination and mental acuity—is a natural part of the aging process.

"Condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations must be prepared to address catastrophic illness, financial crisis, drug and alcohol abuse and Alzheimer's disease among aging residents while protecting community interests," said Ellen Hirsch de Haan Esq., author of Aging in Place and a Florida attorney specializing in community association legal issues. Aging in Place offers simple procedures community associations can put into practice to provide effective services, monitor potentially difficult situations and modify facilities to accommodate aging residents, such as:

Sponsoring seminars on health care, exercise, insurance, estate planning, Medicare and Social Security

Providing proper lighting, no-slip walkway surfaces, ramps and handrails

Coordinating rides to doctors, shops and recreational activities

Keeping records on family contact information, names of doctors and handicaps

Checking in on home-bound residents

Topics covered include: how to know when intervention is necessary, federal and state laws that have an impact on aging issues, legal considerations and organizations to turn to for additional help.

To order Aging in Place, call CAI Central at 703/548-8600. The price is $5.99 for CAI members, $7.99 for non-members. CAI's complete 1998 Catalog of Publications, featuring nearly 100 titles on community association management and operations, is also available free of charge.

The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973 to educate and represent the nation's 205,000 community associations—condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members include homeowners, associations and related professionals and service providers.

Phone: 703-970-9235