The first wave of Baby Boomers has begun turning 65.

Since their earliest years, Baby Boomers’ vast numbers have allowed them to make a substantial impact on each phase of life as they passed through it. Now, they’re entering the retirement home marketplace.

The independent living and retirement home industries are determined to meet their needs with more variety and innovation than ever before. Baby Boomers aren’t content to be corralled into traditional senior housing. Instead, they’re looking for active, vibrant communities that will reflect their eclectic lifestyles.

Redefining the Notions of Age

The boomer generation is dedicated to changing the way society thinks about retirement and aging. They have always embraced exploration and transformation. They’re rejecting the idea of retirement that they saw through their parents and are looking for their own way to define it.

Most critically, Baby Boomers have serious issues with giving up control. To them, control is a fundamental right that they were born with. They aren’t giving it up a moment before they have to. Their needs and wants will have wide-ranging implications for the country as they shift the policies and availability of programs like Medicaid and Social Security.

Boomers have always steered American culture, and they will continue to keep a strong hand on the reins as they age. They were the first group of children and teenagers with significant spending power and the group that set pop culture in motion. They aren’t going to let go of their ability to bring about change across retirement industries.

Redefining Retirement and Senior Living

Boomers simply think differently about retirement than previous generations. They’re expecting to live longer, healthier lives that allow them to remain active long past retirement age. They look for communities and provisions that allow them to do exactly that.

Boomers don’t want to head straight to nursing homes when they’re no longer able to live independently. Instead, they are looking for options. From co-housing and community living to living abroad, life on the road, and a variety of other options. One size certainly doesn’t fit all for this growing, energetic group of seniors. They insist on options that are as unique as they are.

Baby Boomers have seen the effects that previous generations have had on the environment, and they’re looking for eco-friendly communities that allow them to continue to go green. They’re seeking out communities that are based on specific interests, from shared hobbies to lifestyle choices.

Baby Boomers have the spending dollars to put between their changing needs and preferences, and they’re using them. These are seniors who aren’t content to sit at home when retirement hits. Instead, they’re travelling, volunteering and enjoying everything that life has to offer. They are demanding that the senior care industry offer the tools they need in order to meet those expectations.

Not only that, they’re looking for ways to remain in their homes longer, which has created a bustling trade in the necessities of senior living. Grab bars and other necessary items are stylishly designed and easy to integrate into the home’s existing design scheme, and new developments are made every day that allow seniors to remain independent longer.

They aren’t dreading the advance of age. Instead, they’re meeting it with increased vigor. Boomers, like women in the Sixty and Me Community, are out to stay involved and connected. They refuse to quietly slip away, forgotten, as they age. Instead, they’ll stay socially, intellectually, and physically active — and demand that the industry provides the products and services to make it happen.

How else do you feel Boomers will redefine ideas about retirement, aging and senior living? What kind of retirement community appeals to you? Please add your comments and join the conversation.

Let's Have a Conversation!