The 4 Es are the essentials to a happy healthy living environment, And all or some of them have been missing from (what we will soon call something else) senior housing. Nursing Homes across the country are closing. According to the New York Times :
"The most recent quarterly survey from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care reported that nearly one nursing home bed in five now goes unused. Occupancy has reached 81.7 percent, the lowest level since the research organization began tracking this data in 2011, when it was nearly 87 percent."
There are lots of reasons for this change but one important reason according to"Ruth Katz, senior vice president of public policy at Leading Age, which represents nonprofit senior service providers. “When people find community alternatives, they use them whenever possible.”
People with the financial ability can choose environments that offer the 4 Es, but what about those on a fixed income or who can't live in an enriching facility or environment. There are public libraries. 119,487 in the U.S. Not only do they offer access to all four E s but they offer community to fend off loneliness and isolation.
In her March 2017 blog post, Sadie Trombetta wrties:
"According to a study by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, 59% of libraries help patrons find health insurance resources, 18% bring in healthcare providers to offer free limited screening services, and 23% provide free fitness classes. Together with local governments, healthcare providers, and medical professionals, libraries keep communities healthier and increase their vitality in a way that makes a serious impact."
When thinking about those things that support the health and well being of our aging population we should make maintaining our public libraries a priority!