AS RURAL America ages and shrinks, officials should strategically plan to help older adults age in place and ensure their communities are accessible to young and old alike, aging experts said Tuesday.
Older adults across the country face a variety of challenges, including social isolation, food insecurity, a lack of transportation, strained finances and mobility issues, according to a recent AARP survey of local aging agencies across the U.S. But older adults living in rural areas are more likely than their urban counterparts to face several of these challenges at once, the survey shows, carrying serious implications for their health.
“Those with multiple unmet social needs may experience even greater risk of poor health,” Lori Parham, who directs AARP Maine, said during a panel at the Aging in America conference in New Orleans on Tuesday. “There’s really a vested interest in figuring out how to look at all of these issues and the whole person as we look at the number of people who are continuing to age.”