Q: Can active adult (age-restricted) communities effectively expand the continuum of care at an existing senior living community?

A: Yes. Active adult communities are appealing to a new target market segment that can expand the pool of prospects for a community.

As acuity levels continue to rise in independent living and assisted living communities, active adult (age-restricted living arrangements) effectively can expand an operator’s continuum in a market-responsive and financially viable manner. Several distinct advantages exist for considering this strategy, which enables operators to:

1. Provide a sharpened, market-responsive focus to the campus;

2. Appeal to a “younger” older prospect;

3. Provide a “feeder market” to other existing living arrangements;

4. Provide an option for middle-income seniors who cannot afford or do not want a service-enriched environment;

5. Provide an avenue for home healthcare and other supportive services offered on the campus; and

6. Expand operating profit margins.

The active adult concept is growing and being offered in many settings, including apartments, condos, villas, cottages and other single family and multifamily dwellings. It could provide a solution for the classic “I’m not ready for retirement living” sales objection. Operators who choose not to pursue this expansion may miss the boat on developing a relationship with a new consumer audience — before they have the care needs that initiate the consideration for senior housing options.

An abbreviated version of this content appeared in the “You’ve Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers” column in the February print issue.