December has the calendar designation for National Bingo Month. B-I-N-G-O serves as an interesting outline for a discussion on “Senior Housing.” The individuals currently identified as seniors have different housing needs and expectations than the population that occupied senior housing at the turn of the century. The multi family housing options for senior citizens has changed to serve this energetic population. Today’s seniors have an active lifestyle and expect their housing choice to compliment this. This post will be the first part in a series. It will offer some observations, discussions and insider tips for you. Helpful, if you manage any multi-family homes that are designated for today’s Seniors.
The B in Bingo represents “Better Than.”
Senior Living has had a stereotypical image of Friday night bingo and Aunt Bea’s coffee klatches. If you provide senior living communities in the 21st century, this image couldn’t be farther from today’s reality.
Senior Citizens by definition are individuals aged 62 or older. In some cases, the range is extended to pull in ages as low as 55. But for baby boomers, the age of social security retirement has moved to 67 years of age. This means the individuals who qualify for housing built for seniors are actively employed. They work a full time schedule. Life is busy with a career. The income received represents more than simply a supplement to a social security income.
As the dynamic for the senior population has adjusted to a vibrant active population. The tag line for Seniors has adjusted as well. The phrase, 62 and older has been replaced with “55 and Better,” or “62 and Better.” Reflecting the positive attitude and energetic culture of this changing demographic. As our culture brings a more active lifestyle, the identifier , “60 is the new 40” to describe this vibrant section of society.
Today’s seniors live a better life, enjoy a better lifestyle. They want a home that demonstrates a lifestyle choice for seniors.
The individuals benefitting from senior housing in the past were often a single occupant households that required income based apartments by necessity. Individuals often widowed that could not care for a home, yard, farm or family business. The family helped them through difficult changes. An income based apartment fit their financial resources and eliminated the challenge of home maintenance, and in many cases included sources of transportation.
Today’s seniors are better prepared for pending retirement. No longer limited to a minimum social security check, they have investments and discretionary income that allows them more choices. It’s not that they can’t care for a home and a yard. The truth is they don’t want to be responsible for the physical maintenance of a home. They want to do other things with their time and their disposable income. This is true for both single occupant household and households with two occupants.
Senior Living is an opportunity to “live better.” Not a rescue from an environment that is overwhelming or too much. The apartment community must support a active lifestyle choice for seniors.
While affordable housing can meet the needs of todays current senior, the image must adjust with the individuals they want to serve. The step saver kitchen image is being replaced with a description of a gourmet galley with high end faucets and deep sink basins.
Successful social programming focus’ on events or opportunities an individual may not want to undertake as an individual..
Learning to Make Cappucino’s
Competition in the Work Out Room to see who’s walking time can create a virtual destination.
Much time and energy is devoted to effective marketing for the millennials and Gen X populations. It is equally important to realize the changing demographic of the senior citizen population.
Today’s senior may still participate in Bingo, but its probably a high stakes event at a Casino. Life for today’s Senior is more than a Bingo Game in the Community Room at a senior apartment community. Its about active lifestyle for seniors.