Dutch May retail sales surge as lockdown fuels home improvement run

AMSTERDAM, June 30 (Reuters) – Retail sales in the Netherlands increased at the fastest rate in 14 years in May, as a partial lockdown continued to fuel a run on home improvement and interior design.

Turnover in Dutch stores was up 8.2% from the year before, the national statistics office said on Tuesday, offering a bright spot in what looks set to become the worst quarter on record for the Dutch economy.

Though stores stayed open with social distancing rules, cafes, restaurants and other public places in the Netherlands were shut from mid-March until June to contain the coronavirus, while people were urged to work from home as much as possible.

Confined to their homes, many seemed to find time for improvements, sending sales at do-it-yourself stores up 29% in May, after an already record-breaking 26% increase in April. Food stores and sellers of consumer electronics also reported double-digit sales

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Ask yourself 6 questions about aging in place

Many homes in the U.S. are not what you describe as age-friendly.

Case in point: Of the 28.5 million households with an older adult, more than one-quarter (28%) reported difficulty using some aspect of the home, according to this U.S. Census Bureau report

Given that the demand for homes with aging-accessible features will rise as baby boomers age and the size of the older population grows, now might be a good time to assess your home.

“The need for aging-accessible homes is one of both health and economics, as fall-related injuries impose costly tolls on older people,” the report stated. “Coupled with the growing size of the older population, it is necessary to consider how the functional design of homes may affect older people’s ability to live safely and comfortably.”

So, can you age in place? Sandra Timmermann, a nationally-recognized gerontologist and the founder of the MetLife Mature Market

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