There have been many articles written lately stating that the aging of America is the next housing crisis. Sites from Forbes (http://onforb.es/1Bdzyoj) to Next Avenue (http://bit.ly/1p8c3nX) are stating that the current United States housing stock and neighborhoods are not properly set up to handle the aging population.
While no one can deny that the number of people who will need to either modify their homes or move to accessible home is increasing, I find that many of these article are a little narrow minded. Many communities are already rising to the task of providing transportation in suburban and rural communities for those who can no longer drive. There was a community bus full of seniors at my local Trader Joe's this morning! I especially love the solutions that allow retirees to connect with their peers and provide assistance. These programs provide an important purpose for the retiree and assistance for those who need it.
On the issue of home modification- it is true that very few homes meet the standards of universal design. But there are many options before one looks at a $20000 elevator. It may require a shift in thought but with minimal changes a home office or formal living room can often be converted to a first floor bedroom. A large coat closet can be converted to a bathroom. With a little carpentry, lower cabinets can be modified in the kitchen or bath to accommodate a wheelchair or reachable storage.
While these article do touch on some important points, housing our aging population is an area where a wide berth of thought is needed.