A Profile of Housing and Health Among Older Americans

Title: A Profile of Housing and Health Among Older Americans

Date: 11/21/2013

Author(s): Englehardt, Eriksen, Greenhalgh-Stanley

Executive Summary:

With the aging of America, policy concerns at the intersection of housing and health for older Americans are growing. In a signal study a decade ago, the Commission on Affordable Housing and Health Facility Needs for Seniors in the 21st Century, also known as the Seniors Housing Commission, released its report to Congress on the challenges facing all levels of government and society in ensuring support for housing and health needs as the population ages.

This paper examines the housing and health status of older Americans roughly a decade after the Commission's report. It provides a profile of the housing, functional status and health status of the near old, individuals aged 55 through 64, and Americans aged 65 and older, using the most recent data available from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). These data were drawn from interviews with approximately 25,000 Americans in 2010, as the nation was slowly transitioning out of the Great Recession. The paper is designed to lay out basic facts about the current state of housing and health among older Americans, and should be a useful statistical reference for policymakers, advocates and media interested in these issues in an aging society.