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Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America [Hardcover]

Henry Cisneros , Margaret Dyer-Chamberlain , Jane Hickie

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Book Description

April 15 2012
Do you want to age independently in your own home and neighborhood? Staying home, aging in place, is most people's preference, but most American housing and communities are not adapted to the needs of older people. And with the fastest population growth among people over 65, finding solutions for successful aging is important not only for individual families, but for our whole society. In Independent for Life, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and a team of experts on aging, architecture, construction, health, finance, and politics assess the current state of housing and present new possibilities that realistically address the interrelated issues of housing, communities, services, and financial concerns. Independent for Life covers a wide range of smart solutions, including remodeling current housing and building new homes for accessibility and safety, retrofitting existing neighborhoods to connect needed services and amenities, and planning new communities that work well for people of all ages. Case studies show how the proposals can be implemented. The authors offer action plans for working with policy makers at local, state, and national levels to address the larger issues of aging in place, including family financial security, real estate markets, and the limitations of public support. Lists of essential resources, including a detailed "to do" list of aging in place priorities and an individual home assessment, complete the volume.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding review of policies and programs for housing for aging in America Nov. 21 2012
By David Hoicka - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding overview of policies and programs for housing and community for aging in America by 29 seasoned experts. "Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America" edited by Henry Cisneros, Margaret Dyer-Chamberlain and Jane Hickie, is a thorough and detailed discussion of all aspects of aging in America, focusing on housing and community issues. Subdivided into 6 sections, 20 chapters, introduction and conclusion, and 336 pages, with numerous charts, graphs, and color photographs, it is like an encyclopedia in its scope.

The topics covered are shown below, according to the table of contents. These topics show the breadth of the comprehensive coverage of this volume.

I also found it fascinating to read about the writers, and their short bios at the end of each chapter. These are experts who have more than "been there, done that", and are leaders in their fields in creatively seeking solutions to providing homes and neighborhood care for our aging population.

Henry Cisneros is a former Secretary of HUD, four-term mayor of San Antonio, Texas, is also executive chairman of CityView. He is a member of the advisory boards of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation, and was president of the National League of Cities.

Laura L. Carstensen, founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, is professor of psychology at Stanford University. She is a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on an Aging Society.

Jane Hickie is senior research scholar and director of the Politics, Scholars, and the Public Program at the Stanford Center on Longevity.


Foreword, by John W. Rowe
John W. Rowe is a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of Aetna Inc. and president and CEO of Mount Sinai NYU Health. He was professor of medicine and founding director of the Division on Aging at Harvard Medical School, as well as chief of gerontology at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital. Currently, he leads the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Aging.

PART I Introduction: Independent/ Successful Longevity
1. New Visions for Aging in Place, by Henry Cisneros
2. A Hopeful Future, by Laura L. Carstensen

PART II Demographics and Challenges
3. Changing Demographic Realities, by Adele M. Hayutin
4. Future Social and Economic Changes, by Anthony Downs

PART III Housing and Services
5. From Home to Hospice: The Range of Housing Alternatives, by Elinor Ginzler
6. Community Services, by Jennie Chin Hansen and Andrew Scharlach

7. The Home Environment and Aging, by Esther Greenhouse
8. Technology Solutions, by Eric Dishman
9. A Contractor's Perspective, by Greg Miedema
10. A Case Study: Interior Design for Aging in Place, by M. Robbins Black
11. Multifamily Housing, by Hipolito Roldan
12. A Case Study: The Freedom Home, by Keith Collins

PART V Neighborhoods
13. Healthy Communities, by Lawrence D. Frank
14. Local Community Action, by Ron Littlefield and Robert H. McNulty
15. Retrofitting Suburbs, by Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson
16. Longevity and Urbanism, by Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Scott Ball
17. Neighborhood Development, by Christopher B. Leinberger and Michael Glynn

PART VI Strategies for Change
18. Vulnerable Populations, by Fernando Torres-Gil and Brian Hofland
19. Housing Finance, by Richard K. Green and Gary D. Painter
20. A Political Strategy, by Shirley Franklin and Jane Hickie

Conclusion: Aging in Place, by Henry Cisneros

"Independent for Life" is an important and useful addition to the professional library of housing and community practitioners, and is a new classic. The many authors are to be commended for their hard work and excellent presentations on this important topic, providing hope for good housing and community as all age in America.

Reviewed by David Hoicka
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for both the young and the aging! July 30 2012
By Patsy Brundige - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anyone who plans to live beyond 55, or those who have made that passage...this is a book for you, and for me! It is factual, challenging, and inspirational. Each chapter can stand alone, and is written by authorities on the subject and inclues detailed source notes. Living independently for all of life is the goal, with the necessary components discussed in reader friendly fashion. This is a life-changing, life-enriching book!
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! May 14 2014
By Tigran Haas - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Outstanding anthology! Cisneros has covered it all as he did so well in From Hope to Despair. On the forefront of social housing programs and now in one of the greatest challenges for the future- creating a ageing society environment that will be inclusive...many countries should follow these ideas...fantastic book!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Dec 21 2013
By James L. Reaga - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent big picture review of senior housing issues . It brings out issues that are overlooked in other publications. It is a must read on the subject.
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book full of ideas from around the country and the world July 18 2013
By CinthyVF - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are so many interesting ideas in this book. It is an interesting read, has a useful index, and is sectioned so that you can find what is pertinent to current search. There are ideas and examples of homes and neighborhoods currently in use in America and other countries from around the world.

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