The Centra Homes Blog

Trends in Housing for Seniors

September 7th, 2019

The number of Americans of retirement age will swell in the coming years– with a majority planning to stay in their homes during retirement.  Meeting their needs has fundamentally changed home design, features and function.

Fueled by increased longevity, better healthcare and the aging of baby boomers, Americans age 65+ are expected to top 70 million by 2030.  Simultaneously, studies show that over 60% say they would prefer to “age in place,” staying in their homes well into their golden years. 

In light of this reality, homes to accommodate this aging population have already begun to adapt.  A look at the current trends in senior housing can be enlightening for both those on the cusp of retirement, and diligent planners with an eye toward the future.

Better Functional Design

When most of us think of an ideal home to support aging our immediate thoughts turn to single-level living.  While removing daily stair trips can provide a large uptick in quality of life for older residents, it is far from the lone design element to be considered.  

For example, many new construction ramblers combine:

  • single-level living with a
  • main floor laundry
  • wider doorways
  • better lighting
  • main level bathing

Plus other features missing from older homes.  This can make a home more flexible in the present and adaptable for the future. Changes like these reflect a strong collaboration between builders and architects over the past few decades to carefully analyze all lifestyle components and integrate true functional design to meet the needs of buyers.  

Integration of Technology

Another accommodation with high adoption for older Americans is the rise of the smart home.  Seniors willing to embrace technology have found upticks here primarily around personal security and maintenance tasks.

The ability to:

  • screen visitors via a video doorbell
  • smart locks
  • engage a security system by voice
  • turn on lights and
  • easily access emergency services

can serve as an avenue to increased independence. 

Additionally, smartphone-enabled solutions to adjust a thermostat or check that the garage door is down put seniors in the driver’s seat wherever they find themselves. Best of all, with proper configuration these tools are increasingly intuitive and turnkey.

A Laser Focus on Location

Retirement often means a shift in lifestyle priority. This manifests itself in where we choose to call home.  Whereas school district, commute time, retail options and other factors drive our choices during our working lives, factors like proximity to family and healthcare services are valued much more in retirement.  It is true that increased longevity is keeping seniors driving longer, but proactive homebuyers keep an eye toward proximity in anticipation that this may not always be the case. 

The Maintenance-free Dream

While a homeowners association tasked with lawn care and other services can be a nice-to-have feature in middle age, the value ramps up as we age.  A newly constructed home in a planned community can add maintenance-free siding, updated amenities and other features to snow removal and lawn care.  In addition, the HOA itself can offer opportunities to engage neighbors and connect in the community. 

The Bottom Line

Increased longevity and healthcare are changing the way many of us view and experience our golden years. Seniors are adapting to this.  Increasingly, that adaptation is fueled by technology solutions and proactive housing solutions. The result is increased quality of life and independence.

At Centra Homes, we are rising to meet the challenges of shifting demographics and generational preferences.  We are implementing technology solutions and collaborating with innovative design firms to accommodate downsizing residents. 

If you are considering making a change, our current communities in Ramsey and upcoming community in Coon Rapids offers designs to support a changing lifestyle.  These communities include options that are low-maintenance, centrally-located and have a host of additional amenities.  

For more information on these or any of our Centra Communities, please contact us directly at 763.772.1000

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