Californiabuildingsnewsq1 2018

Page 23

23 California Buildings News • Q1 2018

Housing Seniors in California: By Steven Ring Challenge & Opportunity Beginning in 2010, Americans started retiring at 10,000 In America, we are blessed with options. These options people per day. Let me rephrase that, 3.6 million baby can range from in-home care to independent and assisted boomers are turning 65 years old per year and by 2020, and memory care communities. Options include very spenearly 36 million people will have reached 65 in one cific needs to “aging in place” models whereas a senior’s decade! By 2030, one in every five Americas will be over needs are accommodated as their age required needs change. the age of 65 and by 2050, one in every four. This is almost This option can also be a solution for aging couples that double the rate of years past. In other words, the “silver are aging at a different rate from one another. It allows one tsunami” has hit shore! spouse to not be the As the baby boomsole caretaker on a daily ers reach 65, the averbasis. age age of America is The past five years slowly increasing and have been the largest their needs must be building boom in nearaddressed. One of the ly 30 years. Primarily largest priorities is focused on multi-family, the need for housing office and warehouse, that can accommodate the building boom is seniors and their physmissing a societal need, ical and mental needs. seniors. Yes, there are Unfortunately, aging is senior homes being not linear and, currently, built, but the rate is far over 50% of seniors over below the demand that the age of 65 have a limis before us, especially iting physical disability in the Bay Area and rising to over 90% by the other urban areas of age of 80. The disability California. So why isn’t Many seniors are more active than their could be as minor as everyone building senior the ability to walk up housing? parents and looking for an urban lifestyle a set of stairs or as major with medical facilities and often family nearby. Senior Housing: as the memory loss Beyond Real Estate identified with diseases Senior housing is more such as Alzheimer’s. than real estate. Similar to hospitality, the key to a successHistorically, seniors have been able to age in place using ful project is the operator. After all, this is your mother family members for assistance. Culturally, America, and most and father they are taking care of and safety is a priority to of the modern world for that matter, has changed. The idea of operators. Where the similarity to hospitality stops is that growing up and living within 25 miles of your parent’s home the residents are long term and have medical needs that has changed over the last 30 years, with more children moving required proper staffing. Trained staff is becoming more further away from their parents. Furthermore, many families scarce in the industry and has been recognized by the senior have dual working spouses and are not able to be home to housing associations as a deterrent to building more comtake care of an ailing parent, a stressful, full-time job with no munities. Compounded by the scarcity of urban land, the breaks or vacations in some cases. senior housing sector has recognized the need to be creative. So where are the seniors going to go when they can no longer live in their own homes without consistent care? (Continued on page 42) Photo: Adobe Stock.