Frail Aging in Rural Communities and Small Towns: An International Comparison of Challenges and Practices

Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • A framework for conceptualizing the needs of frail older adults in low-density areas and the range of possible local housing and service responses;

  • The magnitude of the need to address these needs over the next 10-20 years;

  • Innovative examples of local efforts in three countries to support provision of affordable, accessible housing; provision of care, support services, and transportation; and opportunities for social connection; and

  • How planners might capitalize on unique advantages of low-density areas to promote age-friendly efforts, including ready access to the Mayor/Council/decision makers, fewer layers of bureaucracy, and accessible decision makers.

Population aging is placing new demands on societies around the world. As the baby boom population enters older age and the ranks of those 80 and over increase dramatically over the next several decades, a central question will be how to house and support one of the most vulnerable groups in the population, the frail elderly, in difficult-to-service small towns, low-density suburbs, and rural areas. This session first presents a conceptual framework of the housing and service needs of the frail elderly and possible government responses, as well as projections of the magnitude of these needs over the next two decades. We then turn to examples of innovation from three countries, the US, Canada, and Australia, exploring how local governments are responding to the needs of the frail elderly who live - and want to age - in low-density settings, with housing alternatives, service delivery, and age-friendly initiatives. The panel will highlight the unique challenges, opportunities, and cultural attitudes around aging in each location while emphasizing the universal lessons that can be applied across borders.


Lydia Morken , ANDOVER , MN (see bio)
Verena Menec , University of Manitoba , Winnipeg , 03 (see bio)
Jennifer Molinsky , Harvard University , Cambridge , MA (see bio)
Ann Forsyth , Harvard University , Cambridge , MA (see bio)