Baby Boomers Redesigning Assisted Living of the Future

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 04 April 2012

Boomers have been challenging the norms since the 1960s, and they show no signs of stopping, especially when it comes to their senior living preferences.

Top senior housing executives anticipate the demands of baby boomers will drive future business (near-term and long-term), forcing them to reevaluate — and redesign — current models of assisted living and other senior care options. It’s a demographic they can’t ignore, because according to this SeniorHousingNews.com piece, “10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every day” and will continue to do so until 2030.

Boomers are talking, and senior living professionals are listening.

What do they want? Boomers want to stay busy, they want a more contemporary look and feel, they want amenities for their beloved pets (who must be allowed to come with them), they want the latest technology, and workshops and gardens. They don’t want to downsize, per the article, and “urban locations are becoming increasingly sought after” for the access to amenities on and off campus. They want choices and more services. Golf is on the list for some, says the piece, but  it’s more about an active lifestyle all-around and less about one particular sport.

The elephant in the room still stands though: how long can boomers pay for the luxurious retirement living they desire?


There are 4 Comments about this post

  1. Michelle,

    One thing I might add to your post is that boomers want to be able to age in place. I read a recent survey which indicated that 90% of the boomers surveyed expressed a desire to remain in their homes as they age. As a boomer myself, I will add my voice to that sentiment also. There are tools that are in place and in development that will aid in that process (e.g. the “Village” concept, the PACE program).

    This movement towards aging in place will challenge senior living providers in the design of their communities as well as the level of services that they provide. However, as you correctly point out, the issue of payment still remains. There are so many challenges ahead as boomers struggle with smaller retirement funds as a result of our economic downturn and the lack of government funding of senior living. That coupled with a growing aging population, makes the future ahead seem murky. However, amidst all this uncertainty is a quiet confidence I have in the senior living industry to rise up to the challenges and enact the innovations required to succeed.


    on 06 April 2012 / 7:28 PM

  2. Yes, good point, Craig. I think most people do want that — to age in place, but I also think there are boomers who don’t want to burden their children with their care if something (Alzheimer’s, for example) happens to them. I know my own mother has said, “At the first sign of dementia, put me in a home.” Of course, that’s an extreme approach, but I do think there is some truth to it. However, whatever the PACE programs and “Villages” can do to make this happen (aging in place with needed support) is well worth the effort.

    You’re right though, the AIP movement is most certainly a challenge to providers, and the issue of payment is a problem all-around, both for residential care and for AIP options/services.

    I agree and share your optimism though. I do think the industry will step up and adapt as needed. The future is uncertain yet full of possibilities!

    Thanks for your comments!


    on 09 April 2012 / 10:54 AM

  3. Sheri Doerksen says,

    As part of the Baby boomer Generation we are developing a multi-generational home. Building two homes on a 5 acre piece of land and helping our daughter and son-in-law and our two grandchildren live in the country. Something that is unheard of for their generation
    We are able to help them with their children and as we age they will be able to help us
    This I believe will be the norm in the future.
    It the norm in most countries


    on 15 October 2012 / 8:50 PM

  4. Wow! That is awesome. I have to say I’m envious of that plan, though you’re right, it’s rather unheard of for their (my) generation. I would love to live in the country with my parents nearby though. Sounds like a perfect arrangement/exchange to me; I do hope we will see more of it in the future. So true. Thanks for sharing, Sheri. Keep us posted on the house, if you don’t mind!


    on 16 October 2012 / 10:14 AM


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