A decade from now, older adults will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history, according to the Census Bureau. By 2030, all Baby Boomers will be 65 or older, which is generally considered the entry year into being considered a senior citizen. By 2060, there will be about 400 million people in the U.S., and a quarter of them will be seniors.
How will America change to serve this demographic that will now dominate markets and industries of all kinds? Communities are already identifying senior living trends to stay ahead of the curve. Incredible quality and value can be found in today’s senior independent living communities, and they’ll only continue to improve to meet the evolving needs of our aging population.
Currently, the majority of older adults want to “age in place,” meaning they intend to stay in their current home for as long as possible. But as communities evolve and improve, experts like the Assisted Living Federation of America are predicting more and more seniors will start to see senior living communities as the most optimal environment to age in. The AARP reports that 87 percent of adults age 65+ want to stay in their current home as they age, but among people ages 50-64, only 71 percent of people want to grow old in their current home. These numbers indicate that older adults are coming around to the idea of growing old in a senior living community.
Technology Will Create the Most Connected Generation of Seniors Ever
New and innovative senior living technology solutions will help bring down the cost for seniors, improve the quality of care, and create a more sustainable business model for senior care as a whole. How?
“Telehealth” is helping seniors who need assistance navigate through life more easily and more safely. Telehealth is remote access to health care services via digital communication. Seniors can access their care team quickly and easily using telehealth, and apps are helping seniors monitor their diet and exercise patterns, and manage their medication.
Personal emergency response services (PERS) are wearable technology pieces, such as a pendant or bracelet, that alert first responders with the press of a button or a voice command in emergency situations.
Boomers who have adopted technologies such as Zoom and FaceTime decades before they reach senior status will already be accustomed to using these technologies to communicate, which will define the coming generation of seniors and make them more connected than ever.
Motion-/voice-activated technology like Alexa or Siri
Smart clothing alerting doctors
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will predict seniors’ behavior and prevent medical emergencies before they even occur, according to Business Insider.
Throw Out Everything You Think You Know About “Nursing Homes”
So long, shuffleboard and bingo. Sayonara, peas and mashed potatoes, low-quality care and generally less than desirable living conditions. The future of senior living will abolish negative stereotypes that have been associated with nursing homes as a new wave of high-quality senior living communities take their place. Today’s senior living communities offer 5-star health services, exceptional dining, and unmatched services and amenities like fitness centers, pools, salons and spas. They aim to provide a center where residents have everything they need on-site, and have tremendous independence while also feeling the support of the staff and community.
Communities Are Going Beyond What’s Expected, Cultivating a Lifestyle
Some senior living experts believe Boomers won’t simply retire and be done working and engaging with society. Rather, they’ll transition. They’ll have the resources, knowledge, and perspective they need to live purposefully and accomplish things they’ve always wanted to from the vantage point of a senior. Senior living communities will cultivate the environment necessary for this active, engaged generation of older adults to thrive, from on-site libraries and educational events to clubs and organizations dedicated to the residents’ desired area of interest or expertise. Communities will cater to a group of seniors who wish to continue enjoying life through enriching activities.
Social engagement will also continue to become a huge draw to life in a senior living community. While previous generations of seniors saw their network of friends and family dwindle as they aged, senior living communities will provide social engagements and opportunities for residents to gather, which is important in maintaining mental health and overall well-being.
Communities Are Approaching Care from a Holistic Perspective
With increasing attention and conversation in today’s world around the importance of mental health, we can expect to see this sentiment reflected in senior living communities. Now that people are starting to talk about mental health more, how it affects everyone, and how that manifests in the workplace, in relationships, and in seniors, communities are taking the steps to address it as part of their multidimensional approach to wellness. Many of them employ the Masterpiece Living® lifestyle, which encourages continued social, physical, intellectual and spiritual growth.
The Possibility of Intergenerational Living
We’re starting to see senior living communities being built on or near college campuses. It’s not unheard of that some seniors like to move to college towns; it’s exciting to be a part of the youth culture and see what young adults are doing as the years progress. Many colleges have medical centers nearby, which serves both the students in their academic journey and the seniors in need of care. It also employs college students. Having senior care centers in close proximity to universities could be a beneficial relationship for both parties, and we’re bound to start seeing more of it in the future. Intergenerational relationships can be uplifting for everyone involved; people have the opportunity to learn from one another, negative stereotypes can be dispelled, and they can enjoy one another’s company.
In just 10 years, expect to see the senior living landscape look a lot different than you’ve known it to be in the past. Boomers will transform this industry. They’ll demand the technology, convenient services and amenities, and well-connected lifestyle they’ve been living continue into retirement. The Buckingham will continue to rise to meet that demand and stay ahead of senior living trends. The Buckingham offers independent living, assisted living, memory support, skilled nursing and rehabilitation of unmatched quality in our retirement community in Houston, Texas. Learn more about how The Buckingham’s approach to wellness, dedicated team of professionals, and outstanding services and amenities work together to create a community that’s setting the standard for the future of senior living.