5 ways senior living communities are evolving to attract active baby boomers

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Judy Good
Judy Good

Last year, baby boomers began turning 70 years old. Thanks to advances in modern medicine and growing awareness about the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices, it's no surprise that these seniors are living longer, healthier lives. Questions about retirement and where they'll spend their post-retirement years remain top-of-mind for them, however.

Continuing care retirement communities, also known as life plan communities, are evolving to attract and fulfill the needs of active boomers. From fitness classes to gourmet dining and endless social activities, today's communities offer more than a place to reside. They offer residents the ability to age in place with opportunities for creative education and personal exploration.

At a life plan community such as The Heritage at Brentwood, located outside of Nashville, TN, residents can take advantage of life's conveniences while socializing with their peers. A few of the new programs and approaches that life plan communities are incorporating to appeal to the new generation of seniors:  

  1. Personalized care: Tailored health plans that match residents' daily routines and schedules are a plus for life plan communities. For example, at The Heritage, every resident has access to a healthcare navigator who guides him or her through preventive wellness services, including fitness and exercise activities, and healthy food choices. Additionally, communities can make healthcare more accessible by providing transportation to doctors' offices as well as bringing clinics on-site so residents can receive the care they need faster and with ease.
  2. Luxury amenities: Research also has shown that although seniors may want to downsize the size of their homes, they'd like to upsize other aspects of their lives. Consider incorporating pools, juice bars and amphitheaters to showcase community plays and presentations, because life plan communities are perfect for entertaining residents — and their friends and family. Plus, many communities are incorporating extra amenities such as hair salons and on-site banking for added convenience.
  3. Innovative fitness: Staying active is a top priority for seniors looking to improve and maintain their health. In addition to developing state-of-the-art fitness centers, life plan communities are looking for innovative ways to get residents involved. The Heritage, for example, hosts uncommon fitness classes — such as tai chi and cardio drumming — that are perfect for any age and ability.
  4. Sustainable practices: More and more baby boomers are joining the green movement, and for them, going green starts at home. Life plan communities across the country are implementing environmentally friendly initiatives such as gardening activities, composting opportunities and even bee raising programs.
  5. Farm-to-table dining: Quality food options are important to active seniors. Life plan communities are hiring executive chefs to prepare food that's locally grown, fresh and in season, and thanks to sustainable practices, residents at The Heritage can enjoy honey made in their backyard and eat vegetables grown in their community.

To ensure that life plan communities continue meeting the demands of active seniors, community leaders must be proactive in finding new ways to engage this new generation of seniors and enhance their overall quality of life. By talking with residents and their adult children about new and changing lifestyles, and by connecting with fellow senior living professionals, life plan communities can stay ahead of emerging trends and provide optimal care for the seniors of today and tomorrow. 

Judy Good is marketing director at The Heritage at Brentwood, a luxury senior living community developed and managed by Life Care Services.

McKnight's Senior Living welcomes guest columns on subjects of value to the industry. Please see our submission guidelines for more information.

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