According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day between now and 2030. As the population continues to age, by 2034, the 65+ population will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. By 2060, nearly one in every four people in the U.S. will be 65 years old or older. This all indicates a high demand for senior living communities through this decade and then a rapid acceleration over the next 20 years.
Life expectancies have been increasing, acuity levels have been rising, and the wellness and health care needs of seniors will have to be satisfied outside of traditional healthcare settings — with an emerging new breed of senior living options expected to play an increasingly vital role.
So how will this major influx of seniors impact how and where we age? Unsurprisingly, unless a change is dictated by health issues, some seniors do not relish the idea of downsizing and leaving familiar and comforting surroundings to move into a senior living facility. At the same time, many others are taking a more progressive approach and jumping at the opportunity to give up the burdens of owning a big home, along with the upkeep and expenses required to maintain it.
A Lifestyle With No Age Limits
Today’s seniors are very perceptive and have figured out that based on the sheer number of them, they are a force to be reckoned with. They can demand and drive changes in today’s senior living based on the lifestyles they want to enjoy. Additionally, a much savvier group than say seniors of 20 or 30 years ago, the majority doesn’t see retirement as the end of something, but more as a time of a transition into new beginnings, turning their attention attentions to the joys of life, family, friends, hobbies, and adventures. Increasingly, seniors want an enriching lifestyle that gives them the services and amenities to enjoy an engaging, entertaining life full of new experiences.
Because of the growing number of retirees up for grabs, the senior living industry has been watching and listening very closely to what this ever-growing number of seniors desire for their retirement years. Developers have also realized that senior living communities are no longer just about bricks and mortar, it’s about creating upscale, spacious living quarters in communities where people feel safe, pampered, supported, connected, and engaged. It also includes selecting strategic locations that enable retirees to engage in the surrounding community and experience amenities outside their walls.
Yesterday’s old folks’ homes are slowly becoming a thing of the past. New communities are trading in their rocking chairs for treadmills and their bingo games for yoga classes. Instead of focusing on nurses, private duty aids, and hospital beds, communities are now focused on gourmet chefs, activities directors, and fitness instructors. Now, don’t get me wrong: The nurses and private duty aides are still available to those who want or need them, but they are no longer front and center as a selling tool, but more of a service offered. The result of all this transition is a new high-quality, amenity-driven independent living resort community catering to every need.
Meet Resort Style Senior Living Designed Especially For You
The newest and most progressive communities are offering a variety of total wellness programs to promote overall health, including education and lifelong learning programs, with daily classes ranging from meditation and gentle yoga to aerobics and circuit training. Combine that with spacious, penthouse-like apartments, gourmet farm-to-table food, fine wine selections, full-service salons, movie theaters, greenhouses, community physicians and pharmacists, housekeeping and linen services, dry cleaning, emergency alert systems, animal therapy, extensive walking trails, and a 24-hour concierge to cater to your every need, and you have truly found a lifestyle with no age limits.
Technology is also helping to shape the future of how senior living communities engage residents, as well as how they monitor, respond, and prevent care emergencies. For instance, communities are adding Amazon Echo (aka Alexa) and Google Home to help you remember your daily schedules, such as when to take medicine or visit the doctor.
The most cutting-edge communities are utilizing artificial intelligence to predict patterns in seniors’ behavior and sense changes before they happen. In addition, Virtual Reality is helping residents travel the world from the comfort of their own couch, reenact their favorite hobbies, like fishing, or just experience a peaceful, calming experience.
Innovation matters to the future of senior living. As senior living communities continue to adjust and adapt to meet the needs of today’s seniors, the choices are endless. Whether you’re just plain simple folk and like the simplicities of a woodsy quiet setting or if you’re more sophisticated and enjoy the penthouse-type setting, you can now find a community that suits your every need.
More from Scott: