Senior living is more about choice than ever before, with facilities offering everything from customized meal plans to expanded options for exercise and recreation. Here are the trendiest and most requested amenities for senior living communities today, and some ideas for how to incorporate them into your business model.
A big concern many people have when entering a senior living community is the ability to maintain their lifestyle. For some, this means being able to practice their faith the way they always have. Facilities must be conscious of different faiths, practices, and observances, making each resident feel comfortable and welcome.
Diet is another factor that is unique to many individuals. In a 2012 survey by A Place for Mom, “made-to-order meals” topped the list of most important amenities, and a recent report showed food to be one of the main concerns for seniors entering a new living community. Many seniors today are requesting gluten-free, vegetarian, and organic meal options. To accommodate dining preferences, several communities are veering from the traditional 3-meal per day structure in favor of 24-hour café-style dining services.
In addition to these more basic concerns, many seniors are opting for specialized lifestyle models. Some communities distinguish themselves by being sustainable and eco-friendly, while others cater to certain cultural demographics by incorporating bilingual staff and customs into the community.
One of the most important factors in choosing a senior living community is how much that community feels like home. Make your community feel like home by enabling residents to maintain their lifestyle as much as possible.
Health and wellness
Since a big reason many seniors enter a facility in the first place is that they need more assistance, health and wellness need to be priorities. By offering services like on-site medication management and physical therapy, you can make your residents feel more comfortable and better taken care of.
Cognitive wellness therapy is another amenity gaining popularity among seniors. Incorporating technology into your community’s model is a great way to provide this. For example, have iPads that residents can use to play “brain games,” which may help reduce the risk of dementia.
Expanding the health and wellness piece to include fitness centers and day spa-like amenities such as massages, facials, and haircuts also adds to the resident experience (and looks great on your brochures!).
Entertainment and technology
Entertainment choices and technology also help your community feel like home. Wi-fi has become a must-have, and providing iPads and other personal technology devices helps residents to stay connected with friends, family, and popular culture.
Make your community more appealing to prospects and increase resident satisfaction by diversifying the kinds of entertainment and recreational activities you offer. Organize excursions, hold classes and workshops, and celebrate cultural events. Many communities are even providing opportunities for residents to engage in higher education, either online or in partnership with a local community college.
Amenities for families
Finally, in addition to providing amenities for the residents themselves, find creative ways to offer amenities for seniors’ adult children and families. You can make a private dining room available for special occasions like birthdays and family visits, or offer Happy Hours and other events where adult children can get better acquainted with the community, staff, and other families.
Seniors have a lot of choice about where they will live. Make your community stand out by offering amenities that will allow seniors to not just live, but live their best life.