Retirement Communities Redefining Senior Living, Offering Hybrid Services

Right now, many baby boomers are helping their parents find and move into retirement communities, and in the process, they’re figuring out their own preferences and what they’re looking for as they head into retirement age. As a result, senior living providers are starting to modernize their communities and gear services to upcoming retirees.

The Reading Eagle reports

When the Heritage of Green Hills in Cumru Township opened its doors in 2009, it was geared to baby boomers, emphasizing eight dimensions of wellness and overall physical fitness.

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“The average age here is 76, but we have a few between the ages of 55 and early 60s who are still working full time,” said Cheryl Anderson, the appropriately dubbed Well By Design director.

Activities, sports, travel and cultural activities are integrated into this fee-for-service senior community that has attracted about 190 people, 80 percent of them with roots in Berks County, to one- to three-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom villas.

“There is still a certain mindset out there among those not wanting to give up a home and go into a senior community, but market analysis is showing there will be a huge demand in this area in the next few years with people living longer,” [Elizabeth Proffitt, Heritage marketing director] said.

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There are several reasons for that swing in attitude, including people needing socialization in a safe, comfortable community that offers amenities in a setting resembling a country club.

Consumers also want such communities to hold a future promise of health care, assisted living, skilled nursing or dementia care.

“We will probably wind up a hybrid in that we see the need to flip some things to modernize, but also keep the good things from the past,” [Phoebe Berks Village executive director Mary Kay] McMahon said.

Offering flexible living and care plans with more options for residents is one way communities are molding themselves to the “have it your way” boomer generation, while others are expanding their healthy living and recreational sports programs. 

Read the full piece at the Reading Eagle

Written by Alyssa Gerace