There are five key trends driving the future of senior living, according to research compiled by California senior housing consulting organization Accent on Seniors, and they’re largely based on active aging. Specifically, that might mean Zumba classes, low-sodium dining options, fall prevention technology or passive building. Communities are making strides in the new options they are offering, a white paper from Accent finds.
Among the top five revolutionary trends: health and wellness programs, opportunities for lifelong learning; sustainability and energy-efficiency; technology-based communication; and memory care.
In the white paper released by Accent, the trends are detailed. Making strides in the health and wellness category are dinging programs, under which communities are offering everything from ethnic options to local and organic ingredients to non-dairy and gluten free.
Wi-fi hot spots are becoming commonplace in addition to computer lounges, while computer labs with technicians and classes and online courses and activities are expected on the lifelong learning front.
Residents appreciate a focus on sustainability, which might mean passive building techniques to promote low energy use, natural light and EnergyStar certified appliances.
Technology will allow for a completely customized experience that caters to the specific needs of a resident, deepening on age, mobility and needs.
“Residents will begin to have a choice in the technology packages that suit them,” the white paper finds. “For example, a newly retired couple may sign up for the voice reminders for daily and weekly activities and a fall alert system. Older residents, or residents with more advanced mental and physical conditions, can select a wider range of services, including check-in calls at various points in the day, or motion-detection sensors that can monitor a senior’s movements, or lack thereof, to notify healthcare providers if there is an issue.”
Technology also will aid in memory care, which will include helping to manage medications, Accent finds. Other memory care services will include assistance with activities of daily living, but also will have an eye toward cognitive and physical therapy. Music and art therapy, for example, will become more commonplace.
“These five major trends, focusing on health and wellness, lifelong learning, sustainable design, healthcare technology for seniors, and expanded memory care are creating ￼￼vibrant, exciting, and luxurious senior living communities,” Accent writes. “These aren’t places where seniors “go gentle into that good night”, rather they are a space where seniors can embrace their new life, knowing that all of their healthcare needs will be provided for as they continue to age and enjoy doing the things they love most.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker