Aging in Place in Rural America: Challenges, Opportunities, and Policy Initiatives

Duration: approximately minutes

Aging in place refers to the phenomenon of people remaining in their homes and communities as they get older, even if their health status changes. Supporting older adults in remaining in their homes is particularly urgent in rural areas, where the population is older. This webinar presented results from a range of studies investigating challenges, opportunities, and policy implications for older adults aging in place living in rural areas. Results are drawn from nationally representative survey data, a content analysis of state-level policies and initiatives, and a survey of representatives of state offices of rural health.


Carrie Henning-Smith, PhD, MPH, MSW

Dr. Henning-Smith is an Associate Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Deputy Director of the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center, and Director of Graduate Studies for the School of Public Health Health Equity Minor. She is the current chair of the editorial board of the Journal of Rural Health and is an associate editor at the Journal of Applied Gerontology. Her work has been widely cited in federal and state policy documents, as well as in national and international media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, NBC, CBS, and Politico. Dr. Henning-Smith holds a BA in international relations and gender studies from Claremont McKenna College; master's degrees in public health and social work, along with a certificate in gerontology from the University of Michigan; and a PhD in health services research with a minor in demography from the University of Minnesota.

Megan Lahr, MPH

Megan Lahr is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center. During her time at the Research Center, Megan has contributed to projects focused on access to care, caregiving, and aging in rural communities. Megan is also a member of the Flex Monitoring Team, where her work has focused on quality of care in Critical Access Hospitals. Prior to joining the Research Center, Megan spent several years working in federal policy for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar focusing on operations, policy development, and healthcare outreach.

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