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Preparing For The Baby Boomer Wave

Construction underway at Morgan Orchards Independent Living - Vermont

Communities Prepare For Baby Boomers

The baby boomers are coming. An article posted by Senior Housing News digs in to the fact that although senior living businesses across the country are thriving in many markets, the boom is yet to come. And that will present some challenges.

Despite oversupply pressuring some areas, providers in many markets are thriving on the heels of a post-recession construction surge and occupancy uptick.

This is good news for baby boomers looking for retirement options, but many aren't there yet.

The oldest baby boomers today are 71, while the average age of an assisted living resident is 85, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

“Very small numbers of baby boom age are living with us today,” said Belmont Village Founder and CEO Patricia Will.

National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) CEO Bob Kramer noted the shift in population that is a handful of years away.

“It really starts to turn starting around 2020. We have that coupled with markets of oversupply. What we’re going to see with disruptive forces is greatly increased demand.”

How To Build For The Boom

Preparing for that boom will be a challenge for several reasons. These challenges include staffing to meet the needs of the population boom that has more health care needs than the resident of the past and creating physical buildings that are flexible enough to serve them in the future.

Communities will also need to build and design a space that younger residents - and employees - want to live and work in.

Staffing for senior living presents yet another looming challenge, one the industry has predicted will peak with the need for around 1.2 million more caregivers by the year 2030.

“No one wakes up and says: ‘I’d like to live in a retirement community,’ or, ‘I’d like to work in one,’” said Andy Kohlberg, president and CEO of Kisco Senior Living.

Both Kisco and Enlivant have had success in recruiting for leadership positions from major hotel operators such as Starwood and Ritz Carlton. But there is much more work to do in building the workforce necessary for such a demand boom.

Grand Senior Living Focuses On Hospitality

One common takeaway from these topics is often the need for an increased level of hospitality, both in resident experience and staff training.

"Today's residents are more informed, cultured, and know what they want." said Chris Hassan, Director of Hospitality Services for Grand Senior Living.

"Many of our residents are well-traveled, and would prefer to retire in a hotel or resort style atmosphere than an institutional style community"

This isn't a groundbreaking idea, even Jimmy Buffett has decided to get in on the retirement resort concept.

The team at Grand Senior Living has an extensive hospitality background in fine dining and luxury hotels. This experience has proven invaluable as communities across the country consult with GSL looking for ways to improve their resident's quality of life.

Grand Senior Living can help new and established communities make the necessary adjustments to reach the expectations of today's residents.

If your community needs help improving anything from dining to design, contact us today!


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