Elderly forced to forgo move to assisted living because of economy

The housing crisis has kept thousands of older Americans who need support and care from moving into retirement communities or assisted-living centers, effectively stranding them in their own homes, according to a November 22 article in The New York Times.

Without selling their houses or condominiums, many cannot afford to buy into retirement homes. So they are scratching themselves off waiting lists, canceling plans with packing services and staying put in houses that fit well 30 years ago but over the years have become lonely, too large or too treacherous to navigate.

“It is part of the hidden problem of the recession,” said Larry Minnix, president of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. “Every neighborhood, every family’s got them.”

Retirement facilities have watched their waiting lists wither and their occupancy rates fall in the last year, are they are now scrambling to bring people through their doors. Some assisted-living centers have called in real estate agents to teach prospective residents about online advertising and how to clean and preen their homes for showings. Others have set up programs with banks to provide bridge loans to homeowners, or are discounting apartments and offering low-interest loans.

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