The U.S. has a rapidly aging population. By 2030, every baby boomer will be age 65 or older, which means that one out of every five U.S. citizens will be of retirement age. Since eight in ten U.S. residents who are 65 and older live in metropolitan areas, the aging population will have a big impact on cities. Hence the current movement to make U.S. communities more age-friendly.
Programs are being developed to make changes to the communities so that they can better meet the needs of their older residents by considering the environmental, economic, and social factors that impact the health and well-being of older adults. The goal of this age-friendly community movement is to allow older adults to “age in place” in their communities.
According to agefriendly.com, the 6 best age-friendly places to retire in Massachusetts are:
Some of the programs and services in these towns include:
- Equipment Loan Program: This program loans used equipment to seniors in need (e.g., wheel chairs, canes, walkers, crutches).
- Service Health Information Needs of Elders (SHINE): A State-funded program for seniors. SHINE counselors are trained to answer questions about a person’s health insurance, and the counselor can offer advice as to which insurance plan may be best for a person’s specific needs.
- TRIAD: Each day this opt-in service calls a senior’s house to check on them. If there’s no answer to two calls in a short period of time, police come to check on the senior.
- Medical Transportation: Free medical transportation for seniors to local and major Boston hospitals.
- Initiatives to connect older people to one another so they can socialize together.