Is Active Adult part of the Future of Senior Living?

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In a recent article in Senior Living News, architect David Dillard talked about active adult community development being on the upswing. Why is this happening, and what are the implications for the senior living industry? One obvious reason is the size and timing of the baby boomer generation. As boomers (and many others) no longer need the 3,500+ square foot home in which they raised their families, they are looking for the next step in their living arrangements. For many, Active Adult Communities (AACs) are the answer. They offer smaller, but well- designed residential options with all the bells and whistles that a couple are looking for in their new home. These communities frequently include such amenities as clubhouses with fitness centers, swimming pools, gathering spaces for social activities, and even kitchens where group meals can be prepared. Once primarily structured on a for-sale basis, many new AACs are available for rent, a growing market choice for older adults once they sell their homes. The growth of rental housing for seniors was the subject in the April 1 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The article, entitled “More Older Adults are Relocating to Rentals Around Philly – Sometimes Close to Where They Owned a Home” cites the flexibility and freedom being enjoyed by the couple interviewed. There is no reason why traditional senior housing providers can’t enter this segment of the market. While AAC residents are not looking for the “continuum” which implies “need” rather than “want”, the physical disconnection but organizational connection may offer the best of both worlds.