In Marion County there are approximately 17,000 seniors and those with disabilities who both own homes and live at or below 150% of the federal poverty line. With income in these ranges, paying to fix a large home repair or adding in mobility modifications to a home is impossible. A more common decision our clients face is to choose between paying utilities or buying groceries in a given month.
AGING IN INDIANA
By the year 2030, one in every five Hoosiers will be over the age of 65.
People of color comprise 1 in 6 older adults. A more diverse younger population will result in an increasingly diverse older adult population in the future.
Housing is an important issue among older adults, as housing costs comprise a significant proportion of household expenses and can cause financial stress for those adults about to experience or already experiencing a decline in income. As their physical ability declines their ability to do smaller home repairs also declines, leading to critical home repair issues. These homes signify more than a safe space for the homeowner to age in place safely, but also as a way to provide generational wealth.
Many people wish to grow older in their own homes and neighborhoods they've known. They have established who their doctor is, pharmacy, friends, church, groceries, etc. Challenges related to social determinants of health can be the biggest barrier to a persons goal of aging in place. A huge social determinant of health—safe housing. A homes ability to adjust to the physical needs modifications as a person ages is key. For those with the financial means, adding a grab bar or lowering a toilet is no big deal. For many of the homeowners we serve, the grab bar is the bonus, having functional plumbing is the need.
One of the key areas of service NeighborLink Indianapolis provides is a face-to-face conversation with a homeowner in need during our homeowner and project assessment process. For many, it's easier to say "my handrail is wobbly" than to acknowledge they're lonely, food insecure, cold from a broken furnace, etc. Helping point homeowners to resources in the community goes beyond the tangible fix we provide.
State of Aging in Central Indiana Report, CICF Senior Fund, April 2021
Home Ownership and Home Values in Black Neighborhoods in Marion County, IU Public Policy Institute, 2018