Active Living: A Trend That’s Here To Stay
Older adults are demanding more from their long-term living environments today. No longer willing to settle for a place to simply reside, today’s seniors are looking for activities, amenities, and design features that support their desires for life-long learning, community engagement, and modern conveniences.
Kasey Burke, president, Meta Housing Corporation (Los Angeles), a developer of affordable and market-rate apartment communities for seniors and families, recently shared his thoughts with Environments for Aging on the trends he’s seeing in senior housing and how his residences are adapting.
Environments For Aging: What’s the biggest change happening in aging in place living, right now?
One of the biggest changes we’re seeing is an increased focus on active living. Builders and remodelers are moving beyond the old adult living model to create environments where boomers don’t just live, they thrive. Newer homes or remodeled homes and condominiums are focused on delivering lifelong enjoyment and active engagement.
In response to this demand, must-have amenities in our locations include thoughtfully designed spaces for entertaining, pampering one’s self, cooking and enjoying everyday activities, among others.
However, it’s essential to design these spaces not only for those living in their own living environment who will actively participate, but also for those who are interested in engaging with others, but not on the same scale. So in addition to large family rooms, we’re also including smaller areas where homeowners can ‘chill-out’ in more intimate space like a sitting room, library, screened porch or an outside retreat. This can include gardens, walkways, balconies, and side yards that are designed to accommodate private accommodations.
What considerations are important when looking to redesign your living environment?
When examining your home for a new makeover, the foremost consideration is how deep the need may be for how you are going to use the space. This is especially important in high-rise apartments where space may be limited.
Then we begin to consider specific attributes that are important to the overall success of a new home or remodeling project, such as can we open up walls to allow for a more ‘open’ floor plan, is there enough room for that 60” professional range because cooking has become an integral part of your life, or is there enough room in or adjacent to the master bath so you can have that 2-person shower and steeping tub you always wanted.
The final consideration is how we can integrate your wish list with your lifestyle. The amenities that will make your home stand apart and become an integral part of your life can be as simple as adding a grab bar in the shower to make it a littler easier to wash the bottom of your feet to adding a third-car garage for that convertible you have always needed!
What do you think you would want in your living environment five years form now?
The boomers of today are no longer satisfied with just a large bathtub or new countertops in their kitchen. They want to live in environments that cater to their individual needs and comfort features. That is going to be different for each and everyone. Hopefully by creating your own individual living space you will stay young and engaged with y our peers, neighbors and children. I see the concept of aging-in-place continuing to grow and become increasingly implemented in everyday life throughout the U.S.
Remember I’m always eager to hear your comments. Contact me at Michael@michaelmenn.com or at 847.770.6303.