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More and more boomers are looking for a comfortable place to call home, one they won't need to leave when their needs start to change. To respond to that demand, developers are now considering how to design projects that offer the technology, diversity and comfort that will keep them in one place.

Senior Housing in 2028
With that in mind, what will senior housing look like in 10 years? A Place for Mom checked with experts on aging, senior living communities and technology to find out.

Here are some significant changes you’re likely to see by 2028 and beyond:

Boomer Consumers Transform Senior Housing
The baby boomer generation has never been one to accept the status quo, and that won’t change when it comes to senior living communities, says Maag.

“Historically, we’ve had a pretty trusted delivery system because customers of the past accepted it and weren’t as demanding,” says Maag. “Customers of the future are going to push to do things more the way they want to do it.”

According to Maag, retirement and senior living communities will have to respond to consumer demand by providing greater diversification of services that include:

Dining options and restaurant-menu meal variety with more choices, including gluten-free, vegetarian and even Japanese, Thai and other culturally diverse foods

  • Greater emphasis on lifestyle and wellness programs
  • More choices in apartment fixtures, designs and furnishings
  • More variety in payment structures

“Baby boomers want to have a voice in decisions in things like financial structure and payment systems and will push back and be assertive if they have questions and concerns,” says Maag.

Technology Will Improve Senior Living
Whether older people of the future plan to age in place at home or move to a senior living community, technological advances will enable them to live healthier, richer lives. One big factor is advances in telehealth, a technology that enables health care providers to diagnose and interact with patients via computer screen.

“Telehealth will obviously grow” over the next decade, says Robyn Stone, senior vice president for research at LeadingAge. Telehealth, already in place in many rural communities, breaks down transportation barriers for older adults, mitigates health care costs such as emergency room visits and helps older adults remain in their homes longer.

“You also have the potential for actually seeing a person’s environment and seeing their meds instead of having the person bring them in or having to reconcile through health records,” says Stone.

We’ll also see more senior-focused computer systems aimed at keeping long-term care residents happy and engaged, says Tom Bang, CEO of It’s Never 2 Late, a Colorado company that’s developed a picture-based, touchscreen computer interface system and installed the intuitive technology at approximately 2,300 senior living communities in the United States.
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