Senior Housing Prioritizes Hospitality
Let’s talk about getting old. By 2030, 20% of the population will be senior citizens. Most of us don’t really think 65 years constitutes a senior citizen, but that’s a topic for another day. As often as we talk about how Millennials are changing the rules of live/work/play (and this Millennial loves talking about Millennials), seniors deserve more airtime. We’re giving it to ‘em at our Senior Living event on June 22. We sat down with Prevarian co-founder and principal Allan Brown Jr. to hear his thoughts on the state of the senior housing market.
DFW is benefiting from a great economy and because of that, there’s a tremendous influx of adult children, Allan (pictured in a very important meeting) tells us. And who has a great deal of influence on an elderly parent’s living situation? Adult children, who are most commonly Baby Boomers.
While Allan and many others might think they don’t need to cater to Baby Boomers’ infamous disdain for “old folks homes,” Boomers have definitive opinions about what they want to see in senior housing. If adult children tour a senior housing facility and dislike it, you bet your bottom dollar they won’t let their parents or in-laws live there either.
Humans now live longer than ever, and want to remain as independent as possible as they age. The focus for many senior housing communities has shifted to living more independently with assistance (read: simpler), as opposed to a more clinical approach to assisted living. Downsize the big house, quit keeping up the yard, let someone else cook your meals! It’ll be just like college, only without final exams! (Your roommate might still drive you crazy, though.)
Many senior adults could now live in these communities for a decade or more before needing all the assisted medical care associated with traditional senior living. While forward-thinking senior housing still offers all the same healthcare amenities—more now than ever, actually, since assisted living and memory care have come such a long way in recent years—most newly built properties also have salons, libraries, gyms, restaurants and activity centers.
“We’ve now gone from a healthcare model to a hospitality model,” Allan tells us.
Older communities may struggle to keep up, but that doesn’t make them obsolete. Communities with more basic amenities may fill an important role in the market—more affordability, Allan says. Senior housing ain’t cheap, and if a resident could live at a community for several years, financial planning must be considered.
But whether seniors want daily water aerobics in a gated community with five-star dining, or need hourly nurse visits and extensive memory care, this country—and DFW specifically—is getting better and better at caring for seniors.
That's good, because in 40 years, you know those self-centered Millennials will need even more resort-like amenities than Boomers and Gen Xers.