Manny Gonzalez – Question of the Month: Looking to Future Residents

Seniors Housing Business

March 5, 2019

What will the seniors housing resident of 2030 look like?

Seeking ‘vibrant surroundings’

By Manny Gonzalez, FAIA
KTGY Architecture + Planning
The simple answer is the 2030 resident will look a lot like me. And, like me, people in their 60s are staying healthier and more fit than previous generations. You will find more active adults choosing exciting communities like Latitude Margaritaville. You will see similar trends when it comes to independent and assisted living, with more of those residents also wanting vibrant surroundings including urban and mixed-use locations. Unfortunately, there will also be a need for more memory care simply because of the sheer number of seniors and our understanding of that issue today.


Expect a more active, diverse senior

By Brenda Bacon
President & CEO
Brandywine Living
They will probably be more diverse, and likely to be listening to the Beach Boys and Marvin Gaye rather than big bands and Frank. They will have little interest in our structured activities and near-zero interest in anyone deciding what and when they will dine. You’ll run into them in the hallway on the way to the yoga studio, the pub or the indoor pool. They might restart that debate you had over dinner last night about politics, social change and technology. The big thing is they won’t be talking about the past, but about the future.


The boomers will finally arrive

By James Balda
President & CEO
The oldest baby boomers are just turning 75 years old, so in about a decade the first wave of boomers will be a “typical” resident — about 85, female and with a few needs for assistance in ADLs. But what is typical? We expect to see this generation be more independent and more educated, likely working longer than prior generations, and seeking active lifestyles. They will also be more digitally connected. Beyond changes to what residents will look like in 2030, data shows we can expect to see a transformation among the senior living workforce — a shift to a younger, more diverse employee.


A first-person hypothetical

By Sean Kelly
President & CEO
The Kendal Corporation
I’m 85 and live in a high-rise life care community in a big city. I came here at 79 after losing my wife of 53 years to cancer. I still keep tabs on my consulting practice, and I can visit family on my wall-sized 3D-TV. I spend most days in the lecture halls and coffee shop at our university, which also happens to be where I see my nurse practitioner and life coach. I’m among friends and definitely feel a part of my community, the university and the city where I live. I’ve never been able to sit still for too long, but I’ve discovered a meditation practice here and it’s helped me be ever more present and appreciative of everything around me.


Future residents run the gamut

By Adam Heavenrich
Managing Director
Heavenrich & Company
The seniors housing resident of tomorrow will be older, younger, poorer, richer, healthier and sicker than today’s resident. Industry leaders have demonstrated the ability to segment and target the seniors’ market, whether along the lines of amenities, the provision of care, lifestyle or affordability. With capital flooding the market, operators will continue to innovate with different bundles of services and pricing to appeal to an ever-widening and growing seniors segment, whether it’s urban, suburban or rural.  This is a consumer-driven industry that has evolved with the demands and needs of its consumers.


Plan for higher demands

By Karen Hogan
VP/ Senior Director of Marketing & Sales
Life Care Services
Senior Living Residents of 2030 will insist on lifestyle without compromise, restrictions or limitations. They will be accustomed to gig economy-inspired, on-demand services at their fingertips. Seniors may join forces with personally fulfilling, purpose-driven causes, but will not relate to mission statements in which they are the subject. Having choices for product type and services will remain important. Many will be uninspired by living options that lack diversity — including diversity in age. They will continue to live life on their terms up to and including end-of-life decision-making. They will expect to receive care in a comfortable, private and uplifting setting that is the antithesis of the medical-model care settings of their parents.


Changes will be small at first

By Jerrold Frumm
Vice Chairman, CIO
Senior Lifestyle
The seniors housing resident of 2030 will look largely similar to today’s residents, subject to certain evolutionary (not revolutionary) changes. The overall seniors housing resident population in 2030 will be more diverse than it is today, reflecting a diversity of housing and service choices to be created over the next 11 years.