Rethinking the assisted-living model

Senior housing should be place to play, not die

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Earlier this year, Steve Gurney was filling out an application for a small apartment. One of the things his new landlord wanted to know was which funeral home to contact if he died.

Gurney wasn’t moving into an ordinary apartment — he was going to an assisted-living facility, where the units usually are occupied by older people who aren’t terribly sick but nonetheless need help with day-to-day activities.

Gurney isn’t elderly — he’s 43, married and has two children. He’s in good health.