Senior Living|Thought Leadership|Trends|

Baby Boomers and their active-adult ways are forcing seniors housing developers to up the energy level at their communities.

With the Baby Boomer wave fast approaching the seniors housing sector, developers must focus not only on quantity, but also qualities. The characteristics that such a huge demographic will bring to the marketplace and how those translate into style preferences and other demands from their housing and communities are hugely important.

There’s no mistaking the importance of this market “moment.” Or perhaps better to call it a movement. Any way you slice it the opportunity is huge. RE Business Online reported that every day in the U.S. 10,000 people turn 65, and the number of older adults will more than double over the next several decades to exceed 88 million people and 20 percent of the population by 2050.

Developers must capitalize, they must find success in making a house a home — multiplied by thousands — and turn good living into an elevated lifestyle. Active adult properties are the first housing type to benefit from aging Baby Boomers, according to many panelists at France Media’s InterFace Seniors Housing Northeast conference in Philadelphia. Although the product type offers fewer services, it provides an active lifestyle for retirees. Compared to their parents’ generation, Baby Boomers seek to live independently for longer periods.

“The oldest Baby Boomer is still 10 years away from needing [assisted living and memory care] services,” said a principal of seniors housing development on InterFace’s “The Development Outlook: Experts Analyze the Smartest Plays for Developers in 2022” panel.

Another panelist shared key details on the active adult Baby Boomer profile: averaging early 70s in age, the residents either already live in the community or are “baby chasers” moving to be closer to their grandchildren. How should real estate serve the more active lifestyle? Baby Boomers really embrace possibilities, both within and outside a seniors housing community. Inside should not only include quality accommodations, but the ability to connect with people and enjoy a variety of activities. That puts a big emphasis on amenities.

“As our demand pool changes to Baby Boomers, our programs need to change,” said the developer president and CEO. “We are expanding our fitness facilities and our yoga rooms, and we’re putting yoga areas outside. You might have running clubs or golf clubs.”

We’ve discussed before how the expansion of the health club and outdoor amenities at senior living communities, along with engaging educational programs, fuels the mind, body and spirit. Those things are integral for both place-making and community-building. Peachtree Hills Place, the first and only luxury 55+, equity-model continuing care retirement community in Atlanta’s prime Buckhead district, is an example of going the extra mile on amenities. Those critically important community components, promoted by infinitee’s award-winning integrating technology, strategic perspectives and branding best practices, find a prime audience today in the Baby Boomer generation.

The saying that “70 is the new 50” gets at the fact that retiree demographics and psychographics are changing. The new generation of seniors housing consumers is changing the game with them embracing active lifestyles and more dynamic communities, and developers and designers must put their best foot forward to serve those different desires and tastes.


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