Today’s senior living marketplace is comprised of too many “Peter Pan” homes, according to Jon Pynoos, professor of gerontology policy and planning at the University of Southern California. And what does he mean by Peter Pan housing? Senior homes are “designed for people who are never going to age nor grow old,” he says. Given the increased risk of falls, inadequate lighting, inaccessible bathrooms, and stairs are among the design features (or rather, hazards) that make an assisted living or other senior care community a difficult place for seniors to safely navigate.
Per a recent Senior Housing News piece, Pynoos spoke with NPR’s Michele Norris on All Things Considered about the importance of home modifications to support aging in place, rather than a transition to assisted living or continuing care. Yet, as modifications can be costly, this is not an option often pursued by boomers caring for aging parents or seniors living at home alone.
It is, however, a good reminder for leaders and developers in the senior housing industry to consider when pursuing new construction or needed renovations to current structures.
Pynoos would like to see more senior homes that include “safety features that will help people avoid falls.”