Niche retirement communities may not necessarily be a new concept, but they will likely be some of the most popular senior living options in the coming years, suggests The New York Times.
Communities geared specifically to certain interests, hobbies, spiritualities and even professions—see the letter carriers community—have been offering newer alternatives to traditional senior living for quite some time.
The way in which these communities foster resident engagement is helping to reshape what the future of senior housing will look like, especially as baby boomers age and begin to require services blended in with their housing and desire to live others who share similar interests.
“Retirement communities were where you used to go because you had to go. You were looking for services and someone to take care of you,” said Maria B. Dwight, chief executive of Gerontological Services, which studies housing for the over age-55 set. “Now older people want to be part of the action. They want to be playing and singing in the chorus, not watching — painting the pictures, not just going to look at them.”
Dozens of nice communities have sprouted up in the past years, whether they cater to the LGBT community, residents of Indian heritage (ShantiNiketan in Taveres, Fla.), retire postal workers (Nalcrest, in Polk County, Fla.) or for aficionados of boats, motorcycles and classic cars (Lake Weir Preserve, in Ocklawaha, Fla.).
“Baby boomers won’t want to move into typical ‘old folks homes,’ no matter how nice they look,” said Max Greenberg, a senior living advisory and real estate specialist. “My prediction is that we will see more specialty communities popping up, including ones run by large national fraternities and sororities, allowing seniors to once again experience the partying, socialization and spirit of frat life they had in college.”
Read more at The New York Times.
Written by Jason Oliva