Oh yeah, assisted living is most likely in all of our futures, but it’s already clear that it won’t be your father’s assisted living. Baby boomers are playing by a different set of rules and the assisted living industry is already planning, or should I say bracing for the changes.
Designers of 50+ communities are creating roomier floor plans (cuz we’re bringing ALL our stuff with us), more contemporary furnishings, added workshop and gardening spaces, and accommodation for pets. When we sell the house, that does not mean we’re giving up all our stuff….we’re just going to repot it.
Location is a bigger deal now as well. The next generation of assisted living residents is not going to be happy stuck out in the burbs. They are going to want urban locations with easy access to cultural and dining options. According to a report from Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement, boomers are going to be looking for “resort style of design” when choosing an assisted living or 50+ option.
Golf and shuffleboard are on the outs, but personal trainers, pickle ball and dogparks are on the way in. Boomers are not going to retire so much as go on vacation. And I’m okay with that. I wouldn’t mind living somewhere that felt like every day was a vacation. And you can be sure boomers are going to want to have a say in how the place is run. Governance is not going to be left in the hands of those “who know best,” that’s for sure.
Broad-band access and WIFI….check. Cable TV with the premium packages….check. Closed circuit security cameras….check. These places are going to be bristling with the latest tech tools and toys, because that’s what boomers are demanding. Everything from automatic and individualized temperature control to lights and doors that operate automatically.
Imagining retirement housing 20 or even 10 years from now is not just a fun pastime for futurists. The influence and impact of baby boomers is going to seachange the entire concept of retirement housing.
So cheer up, we’re going to be the Jetsons!!
Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also visit his author page here.