City-dwelling boomers want to stay there as they age

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Thomas DeRosa
Thomas DeRosa

Eighty percent of baby boomers who live in large cities want to keep living there after they turn 80 — either in their current homes or someplace nearby, according to the results of the 2017 Aging in Cities survey commissioned by Welltower.

The baby boom generation includes those who currently are aged 52 to 71.

Welltower polled 3,000 adults of all ages living in 10 large North American cities and found that people currently living in cities believe they offer advantages when it comes to options for healthcare, transportation and making new friends, which they deem especially important for older adults.

“With the rapid growth of the aging of the population, these preferences are going to shape urban living for years to come,” the real estate investment trust's CEO, Thomas DeRosa, said in a statement, referring to the study's overall results. “We must find ways to adapt city life to these new demands of residents of big cities, where current options are limited.”

Eighty-one percent of survey respondents described themselves as somewhat (39%) or very (42%) open to living in an urban senior living community. In fact, 40% said their cities need more senior living communities, and 33% said they need more memory care facilities.

Boomers' first choice for living arrangements at 80 or more years, “if money is not an obstacle,” would be to stay in their own homes (29%); an additional 15% said they would choose to stay in their homes but would hire help. Nineteen percent of surveyed baby boomers, however, said they would move to an urban senior living community, and 17% said they would move into a smaller home or apartment with age-friendly features.

Survey participants lived in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington, DC. The survey was conducted online May 16 to June 1. For more results, see the full report.

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