Article Highlights Aging Population in Appalachia

Sunset on the Ohio River in Parkersburg, West Virginia, Eric Miller PhotoA recent Associated Press story featured manufactured home owner and Appalachia resident Donna Robirds of Mount Orab, Ohio. The focus of the story is on the aging population in the region. Robirds is 67 and lives on a fixed-income. Nationally, the article notes, people 65 and over are expected to account for one of every five Americans by 2030, with some Appalachian locations already at that benchmark. Suzanne Kunkel, of the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University of Ohio tells the reporter the Appalachian communities are the “canary in the coal mine.” Officials are looking at ways to better service the aging population, including a concept known as retirement zones. The article suggests many of the seniors don’t want to leave their homes, like to have space for family to visit, and enjoy amenities like space for gardening not found in apartments. As a product that appeals to this demographic, there may be opportunities for manufactured housing to be a greater part of the solution.

(Image Credit: Eric Miller)

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