After Arizona Or Florida: Aging 'In Place' | KCUR

After Arizona Or Florida: Aging 'In Place'

May 14, 2012

With the first of the Baby Boom generation reaching the milestone of mid-life, the number of Americans in or nearing retirement age is both unprecedented and expanding.

With so much emphasis on retirees maintaining good health and active lifestyles, one must wonder: where do they…and where will they live when they get older, and how can we make those homes and communities elder-friendly? Will they live out the rest of their lives in places like Arizona or Florida, or can we keep them healthy and happy in the Kansas City area or wherever they reside?

Tuesday on Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Indiana University professor Phil Stafford, author of the book Elderburbia: Aging with a Sense of Place in America. Stafford, who directs the Center on Aging and Community at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community argues that aging is not about time and the body, but about place and relationships.

We’ll talk with Stafford and with former Kauffman Foundation staffer Gene Wilson about how the aging experience is shaped by where people call home, and what makes a place well-suited for post-retirement living.

Phil Stafford directs the Center on Aging and Community at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, at Indiana University in Bloomington. A cultural anthropologist, Phil has been active in research, training, speaking and publishing around issues of community development for elder-friendly communities for three decades. He is a senior consultant with the AdvantAge Initiative, a national project that has supported community planning for aging in over 26 U.S communities and recently completed an Administration on Aging-funded statewide demonstration planning grant for the Indiana Division of Aging. Successive to that work, Stafford chairs a statewide committee entitled Hoosier Communities for a Lifetime, at the invitation of the Director, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. Currently he provides technical assistance to 14 grantees participating in the U.S. Administration on Aging Community Innovations for Aging in Place initiative. He is a founding board member of the Memory Bridge Foundation and the author of numerous articles on culture and dementia, participatory research and planning and the meaning of home for older people. He is the editor of a Gray Areas: Ethnographic Encounters with Nursing Home Culture, 2003, SAR Press. His recent book, entitled Elderburbia: Aging with a Sense of Place in America, was published by Praeger Press in October, 2009.


Gene Wilson joined the Kauffman Foundation in January 1995 as President of the Youth Development division and served in that capacity until March 1, 2000. He was appointed Senior Vice President of the Foundation responsible for Special Programs and Planning until he retired from the Foundation in September 2003. Prior to joining the Kauffman Foundation, he had led the ARCO Foundation in Los Angeles for 17 years. Before his grantmaking career, he was a fund-raiser in higher education, at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, then as special projects director, and Vice President for Institute Relations at The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena.