You might be old enough to remember the connect the numbers books for children.  You start with dot No. 1, find the next numbers and it ends up being an outline of something. You always end up where you began. 

The longer I try and keep track of the trends in the building of  ‘senior living’ communities the more I am amused by the aspect of it trying to make it self over in the guise of aging in place.  Now I know that is a  rather broad statement. Let me explain.

Part of the reason people want to stay in their original homes and communities is to stay part of their normal life and keep precious  connections to friends  and activities. The reasons people give for pushing  away the idea of moving to senior communities are 1. They shelter you away from too much of life, 2. You have to hangout with old people all the time and 3. You feel like you have no options 4. Life is boring and you are staring at four walls waiting to die.

Cue the age wave of  thousands more people reaching retirement age, and the senior housing market market is hoping  to absorb those individuals with heftypensions and assets equal to a buy in for luxury senior living.

But what is ironic is that the newest trends (on the west coast of course –  everything still comes from the land that first gave up granola)  They are  working in a competitive market to give people what they think they really want.  They believe that boomers especially want multiple amenities and options.

Read this description of a new community:

additionally, the ******** campus will resemble a “town center” that’s “very heavily amenitized,” ******* said. On top of the 460-unit senior housing community, there will be hundreds of thousands square feet of commercial and retail space, all of which is meant to give ******** residents the same amount of choices they had before moving into the community.

The property, for instance, will feature three movie theaters. ******* has heard criticism that this is “overdone,” but he disagrees.

“We’re more of a true community,” he said, noting that all of ********* planned amenities—from tennis and pickleball courts to a salon and spa—actually give residents the opportunity to choose where to spend their time and money, which is something highly desired by the next generation of senior housing residents.

So much like home but without the grass to cut…sound tempting?  One of the main features is being able to walk to all of the above.

Another two buzz words are inter-generational and exterior focused. Mixed use development used to mean retail mixed in with various levels of real estate for apartment to single family homes. Now it is starting to include mixing luxury main level villas in family communities. Exterior focused, I hope means not isolating your residents from the real community outside.

So it does take a shiny new village to allow a senior to age in the right place or are they already there- at home.  The beat goes on.