Maybe I should not be so cynical in my thinking that the senior housing industry is always trying to pull us down their occupancy pipeline. Occupancy rates are the hallmark of success for these for profit corporations and the marketing scramble seems to be relentless. There are many different approaches to selling the standard do it all for you dolly retirement community concept to both the young elderly and old elderly. Supposedly a place for mom is under lawsuit for overly aggressive sales tactics. I have read about marketing tools with pre matched leads and other efforts to make it feel like home, even though it is not.
With boomers especially, saying no or definitely not yet to the call to settle in for the rest of your life, there is a new wrinkle on the usual continuum of choices. So in between the legacy retirement and the almost total ownership of intentional communities of Co housing, there is some ‘innovation’ going on. It still all comes down to how much independence do you want and how much can you handle. You may want to have to go back to my primer Aging in Place 101 for a quick review: http://waystostay.org/whats-new-in-senior-housing/
So enter on the scene, a retirement community of apartments where the rent is reasonable for the area and you have considerable ala carte choice of payment over amenities, maintenance help and meals. No walk down to the dining room and yes you really have to sit with anyone while you complain about the repetitious menu for these folks. How ordering meals out many nights a week helps the budget, is a question.
It is a definite twist to the we will take care of everything mantra, this community (Priya Community in the San Francisco Bay area) is also based on the premise that the retirees should have a purpose and help each other. The CEO believes the luxury hotel, I am on a cruise – pamper me approach is not the way to go. After reading down in their literature and Facebook pages I am not still sure what helping take care of each other means. The fact that is it more affordable and is trying to individualize care in that you only pay for what you want. Deep in that labyrinth would still be idea that you as the resident decides what you need and not the staff?
I have to admit a retirement community that shares your cultural values, religious beliefs and even aesthetic choices in the room design, would be an attractive alternative to those retirees who value just that. This is one of the few communities that has a waiting list. It is relatively new and has yet to prove it can sustain enough profit for it’s own longevity.
This is another company I have put on my watch list, to check back and see how they are doing, like Hometeam: http://waystostay.org/help-wanted-2035/ that is trying to revolutionize senior in home care without profits being first and foremost.