Senior living is constantly changing as new generations reach a point where they need more care and housing options. Big changes have happened in the past few decades, and this is likely to continue as Baby Boomers start making senior living choices for themselves. What should they expect? Be on the lookout for senior living amenities that feature a community focus, variety in entertainment and food, and integration of technology in care.
A Community Focus
Baby Boomers value the friendships and connections they’ve made over the years. They raised their kids in cul de sacs and joined PTAs at school. These communities are not something they want to give up when they move into senior living.
Some senior living facilities already are working on this community-oriented trend. Clubs and groups are becoming commonplace, and senior living facilities are tailoring rooms to fit residents’ interests. They might add a craft room for knitting or scrapbooking, or a small woodshop for those interested in modeling.
Over the next decade, we also will see a rise in senior living facilities located in cities. These metropolitan housing communities allow residents to enjoy what the city offers but still have access to the care they need.
Another community-oriented trend is home-style senior living for more advanced care. The Green House Project is one of these that has been growing as of late. These senior living facilities are more like a home where a small group of residents is cared for by several staff members. This personalized aspect can be implemented in many facilities.
— TheGreenHouseProject (@GreenHouse_Proj) June 6, 2013
A Variety of Senior Living Amenities
Baby Boomers like to be busy. They enjoy hanging out with friends, activities, and working at what they love. Anticipating this, facilities have been creating spaces that can host a variety of senior living activities. These flexible spaces can host speakers or community events, so boomers can switch up their daily activities. Think large rooms that can be turned into a lecture hall, a carnival for schoolchildren, or a group exercise class.
Baby Boomers are looking for college classes taught on site, and a wide variety of wellness programs to stay healthy. They’re focusing their program schedules to provide more of that variety of options and activities.
Baby Boomers are looking for choices in entertainment and food, as well. More and more senior living communities have several cafeterias rather than just one. Many liken this to how college campuses have different dining halls with various specialties. Some facilities also are installing small movie theaters so residents can enjoy the cinema without leaving home.
A Rise in Technology
Incorporating technology is becoming the norm at senior living facilities. Already, wearables such as Fitbit wristbands and tablets such as iPads help staff understand residents better and track their care more effectively. Small robots can handle duties such as cleaning and sanitizing rooms, creating a germ-free environment for residents.
Disinfecting with the power of light! pic.twitter.com/Jrhw8sDSB8
— Xenex Disinfection (@XenexDisinfect) March 2, 2016
Care for seniors who need more hands-on attention is progressing as well. As dementia care continues to make strides, facilities will be integrating this research. This includes living spaces that remind residents of the past, which can create calming environments as therapy.
Technology is not limited to computers and robots. Transgenerational design has become important, and companies are looking for ways to create products that can grow with people. Products made with this principle in mind seek to be easy-to-use, no matter the person’s age or ability.