The United States is partnering up with Japan to tackle aging in place challenges, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Friday, June 30.
As two countries with significant populations of aging residents, the U.S. and Japan are exploring ways to expand housing opportunities to allow seniors to remain in their homes longer. Officials from both countries signed an agreement to conduct joint research on aging in place and housing finance.
“Our nations have much to learn from each other, and we recognize that our strength is measured by our regard, respect and care of the elderly,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement. “Working together, the U.S. and Japan will combine our strengths to find new and innovative approaches to housing our older citizens.”
Research in this area will include: discovering innovative approaches to housing financing; identifying connections between health and housing; seeking public-private partnerships; healthy and accessible communities; and developing viable policies in a constrained budget environment.
The U.S. and Japan have vastly different approaches to supporting seniors at home, with Japanese seniors typically relying heavily on government entities to deliver services and resources. American seniors are more reliant on private and nonprofit sectors and volunteers to support them, according to HUD.
The relationship between the two countries aims to explore both these approaches to aging challenges, with the intent that each country “will be able to take advantage of new ideas, supportive strategies and the evidence-based policies, allowing each country to better support and finance the needs of their population as they age.”
The U.S. does have some ongoing work in evaluating the effect of housing support for seniors, including HUD’s Supportive Services Demonstration for Elderly Households in HUD-Assiste Multifamily Housing.
Written by Amy Baxter