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Are Communities Ready for the 'Silver Tsunami'?

Narrator: This is Science Today. As the nation braces for the ‘silver tsunami' - that is, meeting the retirement needs of 78 million Baby Boomers - social welfare expert Andrew Scharlach of the University of California, Berkeley says communities are beginning to ask questions.

Scharlach: Are we prepared for the aging of the baby boomers? Do we have in place the kinds of supports, the kinds of infrastructure that we need - not just for now, but for the future. And in asking those questions, we're beginning to identify answers.

Narrator: Sharlach says America has created so-called ‘Peter Pan' environments.

Scharlach: Environments for people who never grow old. And if you think about the dependence that we have on the automobile. If you think about the living environments, where we have to go up and down stairs, where we have to negotiate long distances and the like, they're really not designed for people as they grow old.

Narrator: Scharlach recently launched the first-ever online conference with participants spanning 14 countries to discuss creating aging-friendly communities. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.