Senior living starts took a hit during the pandemic year, but demographic patterns estimates show that real estate investments in the western states might be a good way to go in the next five years for stakeholders to make the most of their investments.

That’s according to an article in Western Real Estate Business.

According to Ryan Companies, the senior living industry within the western region is strong, with a high level of in-migration. Between 2020 and 2025, experts predict that some states in the West will see the 75-and-older populations — which has an average annual income of more than $75,000 — increase by 44.4% or more. Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Utah may see the biggest increases.

Ryan Companies is expanding in Colorado, and Cadence Living expanded its Acoya brand into Denver in December 2020, citing the area’s expected growth of the senior population over the next five years, according to the article. Construction on the 137-unit community began in February. The facility is expected to open in fall 2022. 

Additionally, Ryan said it is looking at post-pandemic trends in safety and amenities when designing new properties. For example, visitation and outdoor spaces have taken on added importance since the pandemic. Added elements, such as movable partitions in larger spaces and mobile furniture, will allow flexible use of the space.

Touchless door knobs and fixtures, along with antimicrobial surfaces, also are being incorporated into designs. And improved technology should allow residents to access virtual events, intercommunity television channels, smart TV apps, devices and strong internet bandwidth, according to the company.