Vive la French Elders!

First, a personal confession. In graduate school, my master’s thesis and doctoral dissertations had French historians / scientists / anthropologists as topics, so even in the wildest days of French hating for many Americans, I was and continue to be an unapologetic Francophile. Frankly, I do not know how anyone who has shared a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape could be anything else. 🙂

However, whether you are a fan of France or the French or not, we share a lot of challenges in common, including the issues of aging in place. Orange Healthcare, an international company, recently published an infographic on the issues facing the elders of France, in terms of aging in place. Below are a few interesting bits:

  • 69% of French seniors will not be able to afford a nursing home, even if they wanted to live there in their later years.
  • 90% of the population want to age at home, rather than go into a facility.
  • 85% of French people over the age of 90 do live at home. That is an incredible number to me, and one that makes me happy.
  • Success in aging in place (at home) usually requires some adaptation to the home. This usually means an investment of about $6000. It is estimated that such adaptations, if done for all seniors’ homes, would reduce falls by 60%! That is a wonderful cost/benefit ratio, as far as I am concerned.
  • I do not know what the US number is, but Orange report that 84% of French seniors (65+) use the Internet at least every other day, and often daily. That seems high to me, which is very good.

So, yes, vive la French elders. Do you have similar statistics from the US or other countries? I would love to hear them.

Best wishes. Bert


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