Oregon has an aging work force and is facing a retirement “bubble.” More than one out of five workers in Oregon is 55 years or older. This growing number of retirees will strain already-challenged public health budgets and programs, and will further erode Oregon’s economic competitiveness. For that reason, it is critical that Oregon create health and long-term care models that make the most use out of precious tax dollars and create tax and savings policies that will encourage citizens to provide for their own retirement and health security to the maximum extent possible – while providing a sensible safety-net for truly vulnerable citizens.
Meanwhile, Eugene and Portland have embraced private home building standards that force families into smaller and smaller spaces; those spaces will not provide life-long disability-friendly residential spaces. Rather, they will doom families into transient lodging and relocation whenever a significant disabling event occurs within the extended family. Forward-looking planners should instead embrace and encourage architectural accessibility that welcomes people with disabilities in standard design; instead, narrow-minded planners are doing exactly the opposite, and our Social Services budgets will reap the consequences while quality of life will diminish for Oregon families along the way.