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City Smart

Libi Astaire

The elderly population is growing. Is your city prepared?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Innovative organizations are offering suggestions for making cities more livable for the elderly — and discovering that what’s good for seniors is often good for kids and parents, tooLeah is the exception to the rule. At 91, she still lives in the home she’s lived in for the past 40 years and that she shared with her late husband. But she couldn’t do it without the help of her daughter, who lives nearby and does the grocery shopping and pharmacy runs, takes care of everything pertaining to the house — from making sure the grass gets mowed to calling in a repairman to fix the broken dishwasher — and many other chores. If some people involved with city planning have their way, in the not-so-distant future elderly homeowners likeLeah will be the norm, but without the daily dependence on children who live nearby. These advocates are part of a grassroots movement to make cities more livable for all residents, from schoolchildren to senior citizens. And, interestingly enough, their model for the future incorporates more than a little wisdom from the past.

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