I was at a client's home tonight ( a 72 year-young widow) and we were talking about her moving out of the home where she raised her family, and into something smaller. I asked her about senior communities, she wrinkled up her nose and said "I don't want to live with a bunch of old people with creaky bones! I want to be somewhere where I can see regular people." This is a common sentiment. How will the builders in Minnesota respond?
When households in the 55 to 64 age bracket were asked by the American Housing Survey (AHS) to rate their communities on a scale of one to 10, with 10 representing the best, 48% gave them a nine or 10, and that favorable response climbed with age, reaching 57% for households age 75 and older. More than three-quarters of the 55 to 64 group responded with a rating of eight or higher.
Perhaps Senior Housing developers should invest time and money on thinking about how to change the current idea of segregated-by-age housing and come up with an idea that's more appealing, both to the baby boomers and the older generation of seniors. Quit spending your marketing dollars trying to figure out how to fit our seniors into a mold they don't want. Time to re-ceate the mold.
Perhaps the idea of age-segregated housing has itself become antiquated. Will the current configuration of independent senior living apartments go by way of the dinosaur?