What are the top amenities that residents look for in senior living facilities? (And if you’re a smart investor, you’ll favor these, as well.)
Those who are watching the senior housing sector closely are well aware of the shifting demographics: as Baby Boomers age, no longer are they immediately shuffling off to the “old folks home” or needing 24-hour care at traditional nursing facilities.
These are, by and large, individuals who are remaining active and very much involved in community activities. So there has been a surge of interest in independent living arrangements that simplify Boomers’ lives while maintaining the freedom they’ve come to enjoy.
We advise our clients who are developing facilities for this market to anticipate the amenities that these residents will want, in order to help ensure success of their projects. For instance: a variety of dining as well as health and wellness options, and state-of-the-art technology, just to name a few.
Don’t believe those ads so prevalent today that portray 50-, 60- and 70-year-olds as technologically illiterate, capable only of pushing colorful boxes on a touch screen to communicate with the younger generation.
Likewise, don’t fall victim to believing stereotypes about this age group settling for tasteless cafeteria-style meals when they’ve been used to dining in elegant, trendy surroundings serving fine and innovative cuisine.
That’s what they’re looking for, and the smart developers are meeting those desires.
In the industry, we’re starting to see facilities that personally brand a lot of their products, such as ABC Coffee, or ABC Wine, for instance. These facilities that know the value of keeping their residents happy are becoming very creative with all kinds of dining solutions, too, in the style of the finest restaurants.
Historically, the industry hasn’t really been known for its glamour, but that is changing.
Another area where residents are not settling for “the way it’s always been” is in the health and fitness area. Boomers have been active throughout their lives and aren’t likely to give that up just because they’ve turned a certain age.
Some developers have found a big draw to their projects is as simple as location: placing their facilities adjacent to expansive green space for hiking, biking and walking; conveniently locating their sites near urban centers with fitness clubs; or incorporating outdoor sports and recreation into the mix.
And don’t forget tech. This generation knows its way around a smartphone and all manner of online hardware. Plus, they’re just as interested as their grown kids – and their grandkids – in smart-home technology and other forward-looking products.
The bottom line: Stay in tune with your customer base, look beyond stereotypes and keep ahead of the curve. It will pay off in the long run for you and for your Boomer clientele.