Once upon a time when I worked in the mental health field, I heard a lecture about how trying to get grant money for proactive efforts to prevent mental illness was usually futile. You could always find the stark evidence of untreated illness, but it was difficult to define/prove what preventive measures could have mattered.
What has this got to do with aging, aging in place? We are facing a concrete demographic shift in the age of our citizens. When you learn the over 85 year old age bracket is growing at the highest rate (even though the smallest segment) it should make you step back and ask what will that mean. Many cities, towns are starting to face this fact more head on. They are looking into transportation needs, providing more social engagement to keep seniors from being isolated. Policies on building ADUs (accessory dwelling units) and funding for affordable housing units as well as rent control for seniors must be pushed to the forefront and dealt with. Grassroots are always the strongest springboard for action.
Change is coming. Now that can be a good thing, a well informed change or negative consequences of not facing reality. No one would argue against the idea of age friendly communities or livable communities (a dual AARP mantra). The truth is that policy changes are always slow and government can and will only do so much. Yes, there are volunteer opportunities to help on a local basis, but also think of the big picture.
If too many seniors especially of the I will live forever fit and fine boomer generation, deny that they need to get involved, much will be lost. Personal responsibility plays heavily in this. Many affluent senior live in their own bubble of I can afford to weather this storm. The majority of us who either choose or have to age in place face another reality. So stay informed and do not think putting that grab bar in your bathroom makes you prematurely old. Proactive is a word our generation grew older with. Ageism is a word we will deal with more than any other generation. Think about it.
If you would like to take a look how Europe is approaching this whole the world is ageist, check out this refreshing website that declares human rights should not diminish with age: http://ageing-equal.org/take-action-against-ageism/