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In the next 20 years, millions of Baby Boomers will be 80 or older, pondering their next moves. For some, the obvious next step will be some form of senior living community, but many will be looking for options that aren’t available today. What is the industry doing to anticipate their demands and how will it change to meet their needs?

For our latest in-depth report, Senior Living: The Next Generation, we reached out to seven industry thought leaders--Founders, CEOs, educators and advocates--who shared their vision for the future. Our panel includes:

  • Dwayne Clark, Founder and CEO of Aegis Living.
  • John Cochrane, President & CEO of HumanGood
  • David Freshwater, Chairman of Watermark Retirement Communities
  • Robert Kramer, Founder & Strategic Advisor of NIC
  • Bill Pettit, Founder of Merrill Gardens.
  • Dr. Bill Thomas, Founder of Minka and Chief Wellness Officer of Holiday Retirement.
  • Patricia Will, Founder and CEO of Belmont Village.

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Among their predictions:

  • More senior living communities will be where the action is—high-rise properties in city centers, mixed-use developments and near college campuses.
  • Boomers (the “have it your way generation”) will demand more flexibility – from food choices to exercise to how they receive their medical care.
  • Rather than cordoning off the separate populations, more providers will integrate residents of assisted living, dementia care and independent living, whenever possible. This approach will include a focus on keeping couples together when one partner is living with dementia.
  • International Development will continue to grow. Offering excellent care at more affordable rates in destinations such as Mexico and Central America
  • And finally, the words “senior” and “retirement” will go the way of rotary phones.

Seniors will continue to crave more connection to walkable, intergenerational living. Merrill Garden’s Bill Pettit says communities that are "islands of old age" will be a thing of the past.

We’ve shared a few themes above, but there is so much more in our in-depth look at the future of senior housing, including an analysis of the perennial challenge of staff recruitment/retention, creating affordable options for the middle market, and advancements in memory care as the population of seniors living with Alzheimer’s booms.

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Andy Smith

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Andy Smith is a veteran journalist and copywriter. Andy writes about hospitality, retail, senior living and higher education topics for influence group.

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