“Age Wave” Planning Focuses on Senior Housing, Services

Seniors from BHC's Carter Woods Community
Seniors from BHC’s Carter Woods Community

According to this article in Richmond Magazine, the number of people aged 65 and older in the Richmond region will more than double by 2030, an increase of 144% over 2010. If the predictions are accurate, senior citizens will outnumber school-age children in 16 years.

Not surprisingly, studies by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development show that the majority of seniors prefer to “age in place” and remain in their home or community as long as possible. Are our communities ready for this impending influx of seniors?

Thanks to the Greater Richmond Age Wave Planning effort, a coalition of 80 area businesses, nonprofits, governments and citizens’ groups convened to study the impacts, needs and demand on infrastructure that the coming “age wave” will have on our region.

The resulting Greater Richmond Regional Plan for Age Wave Readiness shares this coalition’s vision for an “age-wave-ready community” and steps we can take to make our communities more vibrant, safe and prosperous. The goal is to enable area residents to better-engage in their communities, find stable employment, live in safe, accessible environments and stay healthy.

Among the plan’s priorities are two that are closely in synch with BHC’s mission: enhancing options for affordable housing and home modification services for older adults; and increasing the number of older adults participating in prevention, wellness, and chronic disease management programs. Eight of BHC’s 15 rental communities are for seniors and feature barrier-free, attractive apartments with an array of senior health initiatives and social activities to help seniors age in place.

Coincidentally, this excerpt from the November 2013 Virginia Municipal League’s Town and City magazine features BHC’s newest senior community, Somanath Senior Apartments at Beckstoffer’s.

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