Cary’s Aging Issues Task Force, a group of Cary officials and appointed residents, released a report last month about how well Cary serves residents who are 65 and older. While the town received positive scores for being safe and having easy access to health care, there are concerns for the future about having enough affordable places for seniors to live.
Here are some reader responses to the report.
Seek seniors’ input
I have lived in Cary for the past 20 years and have seen massive growth in the area since Day 1. Now that I am in my 60s, I continue to appreciate the changes that have occurred over this timeframe, and am happy to hear that some attention is being given to the growing senior population that resides in Cary.
From a personal standpoint, it is my opinion that senior housing is scarce, and that which is available is very costly to those on a fixed income. While seniors may not necessarily want bells and whistles in their homes, simple needs (lower kitchen cabinetry, one-floor layout, etc.) need to be included in the seniors’ wants and needs.
My suggestion would be to include some senior citizens on the team that is going to be working on identifying changes and adjustments that need to be considered in keeping all of its citizens content, safe and able to lead productive, active, and meaningful lives regardless of their age.
The Senior Center in Cary has achieved this in offering an array of classes, informational sessions and more for a growing senior population. Possibly using their model to glean input would be worthwhile in helping Cary identify what is needed to maintain that level of satisfaction.
Town has room to improve
This feedback is well over due. As a resident of Cary and in my work with seniors across Wake County. I find that Cary has been such a disadvantage to seniors. Seniors are very reluctant to move to the area because:
1. Transportation isn’t affordable for seniors. The average cost (on the bus) is $8 round trip. The City of Raleigh provides a service called Tier II transportation. This service is a taxi service that provides door-to-door service at $4 round trip. The service is provided on the weekends and covers all areas that the city bus goes.
Transportation should be convenient for seniors to go from Cary to Raleigh in a reasonable time frame.
2. Affordable senior housing: There is very limited affordable senior housing for seniors. Look at meaningful ways to collaborate with current senior property owners and new developers to build new affordable housing.
3. More Medicaid physicians for seniors, or senior primary care physician practice, are needed.
Affordable housing needed
I live in Lillington. I had looked for senior apartments in Cary when I moved from Texas four years ago. As I found, when I searched in Texas and Louisiana, there were none that were either not Section 8, or what I call “cart ‘em and feed ‘em”-type apartments, which are part of independent living establishments that are very expensive.
There is nothing in-between for a senior who wants to live among people their own age in a safe, reasonably priced apartment with some amenities that are usually only found in apartments for families.
I can’t believe the building community has not seen that having seniors as tenants who are not destructive and pay their rent would be so much better for business than families. It is not against the law to build such apartments, and it should be profitable. But no one seems to do it. Why not?