The next decade or two of continuing care retirement community (CCRC) consumers won’t seek dramatic changes in their senior living preferences, says a white paper published by Life Care Services, but the decision to move to one will depend on a few fundamental components, perhaps chief of which is the ability to maintain independence.
“Independence is the sole factor that the single-family home is considered better able to meet,” says LCS in The Consumer of the Future. “The CCRC of the future must foster stronger independence among its residents by being the catalyst for individual desires and expectations—becoming the destination that makes it easier to continue a cherished lifestyle and promoting a life lived outside the community walls.”
The desire for independence will remain paramount no matter the generation of consumers, whether the Silent Generation or the Baby Boomers, but seniors will also seek interaction with their peers both within their senior living residence and the community at large.
Many consumers are looking for ways to age in place, and this can be achieved through CCRCs’ continuum of care. Many seniors will also expect communities to provide them with services and amenities that promote health and wellness along with a maintenance-free lifestyle, says the white paper. Technology, costs, programming are also expected to factor into changes that will impact the senior living industry.
There are challenges and opportunities to be found in upcoming generations of senior living residents, the paper continues. The upward-trending ages of incoming CCRC residents can pose a significant challenge as it can affect the attractiveness of a community to younger seniors.
“Stemming “age creep” will require communities to make dramatic changes in the way they attract younger retirees,” says the white paper. “To reach this audience, communities must focus on offering services that make life easier and providing access to the greater community that these seniors couldn’t have achieved on their own.”
With many seniors putting off the move into a retirement community, providers might want to consider extending their market share by offering services to those still living at home, whether by choice or because they can’t afford otherwise.
“Given the evolving nature of consumer desires, CCRCs must be amenable to breaking new ground and exploring approaches to products and services that may not have been previously delivered in senior housing,” says LCS in the white paper.
Options include providing home healthcare services, offering home maintenance and renovation services, or selling access to CCRC amenities such as dining, fitness center, or clinic services.
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Written by Alyssa Gerace