A new report from Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, Improving America’s Housing, 2019, shows that Americans over 55 spend $152 Billion per year on improving their homes. These are just the people who are already remodeling.
It seems a no-brainer to encourage these low hanging fruit homeowners to update their homes for "modern longevity." Educating and incentivizing them to do it just a little better should not be difficult. It will glean health care savings for the economy, reduce misery, hardship and discomfort for the families, and improve the business climate for age friendly technology by creating places better designed to meet the real life needs of older Americans.
There is precedent. The Hartford Insurance Company Center for Mature Market Excellence partners with the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology to provide homeowner education at the time of a claim to impact decision-making about home modification.
Every member of The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence is highly credentialed and has an advanced degree in an aging-related field. This rich academic background provides them with unique knowledge of the psychological, sociological, and financial dimensions of aging.
In their study, "Top Smart Home Technologies for Mature Home Owners," Hartford and MIT AgeLab conducted an extensive review of 25 smart home technologies. The panel doing the review consisted of leading experts in housing, aging, and technology from the fields of occupational therapy, interior design, computer science, gerontology, and engineering, plus a survey of homeowners.
The panel identified smart home technologies that may particularly benefit homeowners who have a health condition or are caring for a family member. The focus is to help homeowners and caregivers maintain safety, independence, and well-being at home.
Susan Kimmel and Louis Tenenbaum used this new data to highlight HomesRenewed at the Intercompany Long Term Care Insurance conference last week in Chicago. This simple idea was well received in conversations with insurers, actuaries and claims administrators. At last fall's annual meeting of the Home Care Association of America, Tenenbaum and Kimmel conducted the same conversations with home care owners following their presentation on the subject of age-friendly remodeling.
A strength of the HomesRenewned Coalition is the broad interest in updating homes. Through the coalition, Long Term Care Insurers, home care agencies, remodeling, technology, healthcare and more business sectors join consumers in saying:
"It is fundamentally unjust to continue medical miracles that add years to lives without also updating homes to live those lives joyfully with dignity."
HomesRenewed Coalition opens the door to change. Unlike most current policy and funding, HomesRenewed targets the 73% in the Innovation and Opportunity Zone. HomesRenewed policy initiatives are outlined below:
©2019 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org