The Department developed and produced a survey seeking input from the general public on several topics related to aging-in-place and universal design. The availability of safe, accessible, and affordable housing assures that elders can continue to remain in their homes and age-in-place. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines aging-in-place as "the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level" (CDC, 2013). The term “universal design” has been in the lexicon of architects and interior designers for many years. Recently the concept of using universal design to aid aging-in-place has come to the attention of the public, legislators, and policy makers. Aging-in-place through universal design is now a topic of great interest to the general public and in the network of those who work with an aging society.
The survey had over 750 respondents. The survey found that 80 percent of those surveyed said that they preferred to remain where they are currently living. The majority (64 percent) lives with a spouse or a partner, and 88 percent live in a home or condo. When asked what features they look for in housing, a full bedroom and full bathroom on the first floor of the home was the highest selection feature (88 percent), followed by easy-to-read thermostats (54 percent), outdoor lighting with motion sensors (50 percent), and lever-type faucet handles (46 percent).
As for the neighborhood in which they want to age, most (89.8 percent) said that they want to live in a community where residents are treated with respect, and where they can contribute to the community and that their contributions are appreciated (82.4 percent). They want a safe neighborhood (94.8 percent), where there are affordable housing options (80.5 percent) and where transportation is available (93.8 percent).
See the complete survey here.
Department of Elder Affairs Faith-Based Survey Results