With the concept of retirement changing drastically for the upcoming generation of retirees, there’s less of a push for the nation’s baby boomers to enter segregated senior living communities and more of an urge to remain in their own homes and communities, reveal studies about attitudes toward retirement and where to live in old age.
Many of those entering retirement age don’t want to leave their current location, especially if it’s near jobs and family, and past data indicates much of the 65-80 age demographic choose not to live in senior-specific communities. But with a growing “senior” population, there’s also a growing need for housing that can properly accommodate an aging person’s needs, and this can happen right in an existing community through an intergenerational approach.
There hasn’t been a lot of senior living development in general in the past few quarters, let alone multi- or intergenerational development, says Joyce Haglund, the executive director at Rice Eventide, the nonprofit sponsor of a long-term care facility located in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Indeed, seniors housing had an annual inventory growth rate of just 1.2% as of the fourth quarter of 2011, according to data from the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC). But cyclical lows in construction hasn’t stopped Haglund’s company from forging ahead with a new 55+ neighborhood that will be located in SouthField, a master-planned intergenerational community on Boston’s South Shore.
SouthField’s master plan includes a couple different “villages” with town homes and single-family homes; a neighborhood for apartment living; a commercial campus; a sports complex; and now Fairing Way, as Rice Eventide is in the process of developing what Haglund calls a “hybrid” continuing care retirement community—an active adult, 55+ community that will also have services available on an a la carte basis.
The Fairing Way community doesn’t offer a specific service package, but a monthly fee for residents will include services such as snow removal, landscaping, common area insurance, and real estate taxes; healthcare services and meals can be obtained as needed.
Besides being more flexible than a traditional CCRC, says Haglund, this community has a very intentional location.
“It was really important for us to stay in the [Quincy] community and not just develop something off on our own,” she says. “We’re surrounded by this whole neighborhood of families and life; that’s important, because as people get older, those community ties can help keep us younger and involved.”
For most of Rice Eventide’s 90-year history, it’s been involved with the community at large, and was originally established by a group of community members to take care of local retirees.
“We were formed to serve the people in this community—retired school teachers, firemen, shipyard workers—those are the people we’ve always taken care of, and we want to make sure we remain affordable to the people in our community,” Haglund says.
Besides a focus on being affordable, Haglund thinks the intergenerational aspect is key.
“I think the baby boomers are going to be much more demanding in what they are doing for retirement,” she says, and speaking as a boomer herself, “We’re going to want to stay where we’ve been living.”
Coming up: Hospitality-style, multi-purpose “senior” living with services that can attract the outside community. To read Senior Housing News’s previous article on how boomers might change where “senior” housing is located, click here.
Written by Alyssa Gerace