How The Senior Living Market is Preparing for Baby Boomers

“In 2011, the first of the baby boomers – Americans born between 1946 and 1964 – turned 65 years old. There are 77 million baby boomers, comprising nearly one quarter of the total population.”(1) As baby boomers are rapidly approaching retirement age, the senior housing market is actively preparing for the future.

What does this mean for the construction industry? Let’s take a look at the anticipated impact on four types of senior living:

1. Independent Living Communities are designed for seniors who want to live with people of similar age but do not need assistance. The living unit is similar to a traditional apartment with a full kitchen. We are finding that baby boomers are more demanding than previous generations with respect to their living environment and amenities. Existing Independent Living communities are being renovated to accommodate those needs and desires.

2. Assisted Living Communities are often adjacent to Independent Living units. These facilities are intended for seniors who may need help with daily activities but do not require skilled medical care. To keep up with the increased demand, Assisted Living communities are being built across the country.

3. Nursing Homes are designed for seniors whose health needs require skilled medical professionals on a daily basis. A vast number of nursing homes are currently undergoing renovations to meet the needs of baby boomers. We expect those renovations to continue in the coming years.

4. Similar to Nursing Homes, dedicated Alzheimer’s facilities are on the rise. “Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.”(2) Since there is no current cure, the prevalence of this disease is expected to rise as baby boomers age. In preparation, the senior housing market is starting to build facilities exclusive to seniors living with Alzheimer’s.

Lastly, the number of Continuing Care Retirement Communities is also expected to increase with demand. These communities encompass Independent Living, Assisted Living and Nursing Home care in one location. They allow a senior to live the rest of their life in one place, moving between levels of care as needed.

Chesapeake Contracting Group finds senior housing construction to be extremely rewarding. We look forward to our continued involvement in this growing industry.

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Richard Whalen
Project Executive
Chesapeake Contracting Group

About the Author: Since 1992, Richard Whalen has constructed over $280,000,000 in senior living projects. He has built over 2,000,000 SF of assisted and independent living facilities in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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1 | http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/livable-communities/learn/demograph...

2 | http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp

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