Elderly Trapped in Houses That Won't Sell

Lack of buyers forces frail elderly to postpone plans for assisted living
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2008 6:19 AM CST
The housing crash has trapped many elderly people who were counting on selling their home to move into retirement communities. For many, their troubles have been compounded by the stock market's dive.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – The collapse of the housing market has left many elderly people marooned in their own homes, the New York Times reports. Retirement communities require hefty down payments that many elderly were expecting to raise by selling their homes. With no buyers out there, frail people requiring daily care are stuck in houses too big—or treacherous—for them.

Retirement homes, seeing occupancy rates drop and waiting lists shrink, are working to find solutions—from discounts to low-interest loans—and many elderly have turned to adult day care in the short term. Experts say these elders are taking a risk, though, and are in no condition to wait for the market to rebound. "You have people putting it off when they need care right now,” warns one expert.