“Livable Cities”: What it takes for today’s cities to cater to our aging population!!
Technologies & Requirements to Enable Independence for Seniors in Cities
A musing by GrandCare founder, Charlie Hillman
GrandCare creates technology to empower the elderly to age and heal in place. Our mission is to reduce the societal cost of long term, post acute, chronic condition, and hospice care while providing a safer, healthier, and happier life for seniors. The notion of livable cities is of particular importance to our aging population. Many cities, particularly those in nicer climates have seen large increases in their senior populations. Certainly part of this is the natural aging demographic of the first world, but there is clearly a movement of seniors from rural and suburban venues into the cities.
And it makes sense – cities have a number of big advantages for seniors.
- They can walk to products and services.
- There is mass transportation, often with senior discounts
- There are downsized accommodations without lawn work.
- There is easy access to senior services.
- There is good access to healthcare, a particularly important need of seniors.
And, seniors are good for cities – they pay their taxes, they represent considerable wealth, they require services, they volunteer, they provide the wisdom of the ages, and of course, they have a pretty low crime rate. Given all of this, a larger senior population also presents challenges to cities. Many of these seniors are the recipients of some sort of government assistance. While the federal or state government may be the ultimate payer, the Cities are often responsible for the actual frontline provision of services. Clearly the goal is to provide these services in a compassionate and yet efficient manner.
It is my contention that technology can play a vital component to meet these challenges.
Allow me to muse for a bit and describe what that technology might look like.