Aging-in-Place, or. . . ?
Destination senior living must become the new norm. Aging baby boomers have a strong preference to age-in-place or stay in their home. The danger of aging-in-place is a downward spiral of isolation and loneliness.
Senior living, done right
Senior living, done right, must offer something more than aging-in-place. That something must include social connectedness that fosters an active adult lifestyle. Active adults enjoy extended emotional and physical health. It’s not enough to just house our longevity in a new isolation box. Similar to destination retail, we need to create destination senior housing.
Out-of-the-Box Senior Housing
Senior Housing News recent article “Out-of-the-Box Ways Senior Housing Can Compete With Aging at Home” highlights the issue, albeit from the viewpoint of the developers and operators of senior housing.
Technology is making it easier to receive services while aging-in-place. The tech-enabled sharing economy lets even homebound seniors buy services a la carte. Many of these services were previously prime convenience offerings of the all-in-one bundle of the senior living environment. New tech is undoing the traditional senior living value proposition.
Destination senior living
There must be some additional reason, beyond convenience, to live together. And not separately.
That reason? Community involvement and engagement encourages an active adult lifestyle, extending life and more importantly extending health.
Not isolated senior warehouses
Why move from one isolated, disconnected setting to an isolated facility? A facility disconnected from the broader community is not attractive. Isolated, standalone senior living facilities don’t answer the call. They look more like the dreaded retirement home of old. Retirees don’t want to be warehoused and isolated.
Innovated, connected communities
“Out-of-the-Box” highlights several innovative approaches to create connected communities and fight isolation. These are the destination senior living communities of the future. The industry must tell a better story of why a community is better than isolation.
Successful destination senior living requires innovation and change.
“Today our buildings need to do more than just provide shelter, they also need to be an ally in creating environments that enhance the human experience by understanding human behavior and responding in a way that encourages positive interaction,” HKS President and CEO Dan NobleHKS President and CEO Dan Noble