A new paradigm: Aging in place vs ageless

ATLANTA—It makes sense that people want to “age in place” as they grow old. However, with 33% of the population 50+ years of age, that concept needs to be redefined. Helen Foster, Foster Strategy, LLC; Mitch Brown, Kisco SeniorLiving; and Brian Dawson, AIA, LEED AP, Irwin Partners Architecture, led a discussion on why “aging in place” means something different to Baby Boomers—the environments they want to inhabit must be “ageless,” with services, support, and opportunities that the current model doesn’t provide.

Current CCRC models and communities fail to meet the interdisciplinary needs of this growing group of older Americans. Boomers are on a quest for self-realization, for continued personal growth, for positive life experiences. To fulfill these goals, the new trend to create livable communities—lifelong communities that incorporate not only universal design and security, but offer a variety of easily accessible services and opportunities for personal growth.

The new residential trend places senior living spaces within an active community. Boomers want less hassle, more fun, and easy access to nature and the outdoors. Boomers appreciate the aesthetics of their surroundlings and want access to experiences, such as outdoor dining. Living units will incorporate technology, such as movable walls, for adaptability.”

Daybreak Community in South Jordan, Utah, and Legacy in Orange County, California were offered as examples “lifelong” communities. The presenters challenged the attendees to envision their own project concepts. Among the proposals were a shopping mall conversion, a university-centered community, a time-share proposal, and repurposed cruise ships.

Topics: Design