A Place to Call Home: Older Adults Discuss Their Ideal Living Arrangements

As people age, they are inevitably forced to consider their future housing options. However, the perfect home may be too expensive and difficult to come by. AARP received a letter from a reader expressing these concerns and their ideal living arrangements. Intrigued by this letter, AARP invited readers to share their interesting and inspiring housing ideas and solutions, highlighting the ways in which older adults can thrive in age-friendly homes and communities.

Overall, respondents noted the desire to have their own comfortable, quiet, safe, and affordable living space. They desired to live in homes where maintenance was provided and where transportation options, such as having a place to park or public transportation, were accessible. They also desired to live within a reasonable distance from medical professionals and shopping centers. While some indicated interest in living in multigenerational areas, others expressed concerns about how these areas might attract noise and crime.

Respondents introduced some creative ways to design senior living housing, many of which involved renovating abandoned old structures. One reader suggested that outdated motels could be converted into apartments for older adults. They noted that, as a bonus, many motels include restaurants, pools, and exercise rooms, which older adults can capitalize on. Other ideas included converting abandoned malls, multi-bedroom mansions, and schools into senior housing cities. These structures could ideally allow older adults to have their own space, while also providing areas like kitchens or cafeterias and common rooms for residents to gather and receive assistance as needed.

Although many of these ideas seem novel, most respondents noted that they were borrowed because such places already exist. However, they are scarce. Respondents ultimately hoped that, through sharing their ideas, these ideal living arrangements can become more commonplace in the future.


Want to keep up with recent research that’s relevant to aging services? Use the form below to subscribe to our monthly InvestigAge email.



Editor, M. S. (n.d.). Readers Sent Us Their Ideas for a Dream Home and Community for Aging. AARP. Retrieved July 31, 2023, from https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/housing/info-2023/age-friendly-housing-ideas-from-readers.html

Self-Fulfilling ProphecyHow Perceptions of Aging Affect Our Later Years

Learn how older adults’ perceptions of aging—and their self-perceptions—can have serious effects on their health, behaviors, and even longevity.

Download FREE Copy

    Add insight to your inbox

    Join our email list to receive information about the latest research from Mather Institute. Just complete the form below to subscribe.

    Thank you!

    You are now subscribed to the email list.
    A confirmation has been sent to the email you provided.

    Continue to Website Share with a Friend