Many states know that the boom in the senior population is well underway and are taking steps to not only prepare for the needs of seniors, but to also utilize the knowledge, experience and time seniors have to give. Retirement is a time for fun and special interests, but it is also a time to connect with community, too.

For instance, in Pennsylvania, tax credits are available for any new or redeveloped housing units that provide for easy access, wider doorways and entry level restrooms. Texas is also making state and federal funds available for units with the same and bathrooms with grab bars, light switches and wall plugs that are raised for easier access.

Georgia is getting seniors involved in planning – to reduce urban sprawl and coordinate aging-in-place policies. Florida is also asking seniors to engage in planning and developing the Communities for a Lifetime program. Aging in place is a specialty for Galloway Ridge in North Carolina. It’s one retirement community where residents are comfortable and don’t have to worry about all the issues of staying in the community they love and have the resources like exercise facilities, nutritious meals and healthcare they need.

States are also emulating other services available in retirement communities like Galloway Ridge. Exercise programs and activities, volunteer drivers for senior transportation and other senior support services.
New Jersey is even revising traffic laws. Drivers are required to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk rather than just yield.

I love the idea of promoting and supporting Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC). As the age of neighborhoods rises, support services are provided through private and government efforts. But that takes time to identify and then establish. You don’t have to wait for a NORC to develop in your area. No, some retirement communities, like Galloway Ridge are established, ready and open to today’s seniors. Services you need today – and tomorrow – are in place. All you have to do is make the decision!