Baby Boomers Cling to Homes, Demand Public Resources

Older adults who wish to live alone in their homes can strain public services.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the increasing number of older adults who live alone. Aging-in-place is a popular option for the growing number of residents in the Northeast US over the age of 65.

While older adults might avoid high nursing home fees by staying in their homes, the need for support services strains local nonprofits and public agencies. As described in the Journal,

. . . aging in place is proving difficult in places where the population is growing older, supportive services are scarce, houses are in disrepair and younger people who can assist have moved away. As a result, elderly people who live at home are having to rely more on neighbors—who sometimes are elderly, too—and local nonprofits and public agencies are starting to feel the strain from increasing requests for help.

For more information about issues of aging-in-place, see the full story from the Wall Street Journal. (subscription access)

In Maryland, state and county governments provide support services for older adults. This month, the National Association of Counties published new data on veterans and older adults. The Association found that only 179 counties in the US (out of over three thousand) have more than twenty five percent residents 65 years or older. However, the same data shows that Maryland’s rural counties have a a high percentage of older adults.

Worcester, Talbot and Kent are Maryland’s oldest counties. In these three Maryland counties more than twenty percent of residents are 65 years or older.

Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, Garrett and Allegany counties are the next oldest. In these four counties more than fifteen percent of residents are 65 years or older.

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This map depicts Maryland counties; in dark blue counties more than 20% of the population is 65 years or older.

For more information on how Maryland counties are serving our older adults, join us at the MACo Winter Conference. Panelists from the fields of disabilities and emergency management will share how to prepare older adults in your community for a disaster at the MACo Winter Conference session, When Lightning Strikes: Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults on Thursday, December 10, 2015 from 1-2pm at the Hyatt Resort in Cambridge, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:

Questions? Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.