The New Senior – The Metro Senior
You may have heard the adage, “you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” I suggest a new adage …. or maybe a new persona representing a type of senior who is beginning to emerge from the ranks of the baby boomers, the metro senior. For this unique individual, “you can take the older adult out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the older adult.” The metro senior really wants to remain in the city.
A metro senior is an energized person 65 years or older with varied interests that may include fashion, the arts, sports, fitness, culinary experiences, wellness, and remaining connected to the world.
These seniors may not be enthused about the bucolic campuses offered in the traditional life plan or continuing care retirement community. They do not want to be disconnected by geography, nor by actions. Some already may have experienced and embraced metropolitan living, and they adore it; others may wish to experience it for the first time.
Preferences of the Metro Senior
Metro seniors enjoy not only the convenience of walking (or taking Uber since they tend to be tech savvy) to amenities and entertainment; they embrace the diversity of experiences offered within a city. The dining experience is one example. Many of today’s life plan communities offer multiple dining venues such as formal dining, bistro dining, café dining and grab ‘n go areas. Even with this multiplicity of environments however, those offerings cannot match the many choices residents may have within a city, including Asian, Italian, Mediterranean, American, Hispanic or even tapas dining. For a metro senior, the dining experience in a typical life plan community can seem mundane.
This new senior desires to remain connected to the world at large by maximizing lifestyle choices – whether that means eating a variety of ethnic foods or selecting American every day. The metro senior enjoys options as to how to spend the day – attending performances; visiting sporting events and museums; serving as a volunteer; taking a cooking, Pilates or yoga class; or learning ballroom or salsa dance. These people are savvy metropolitans harboring no desire to live on a lovely suburban campus of like-aged retirees. Read more about this senior: Baby Boomers Demand for Urban Senior Housing.
The Urban Alternative
If the baby boomer generation includes this type of individual, what is the senior living industry doing to meet the urban desire? Do we continue building the same type of senior campus or do we branch out and try something new?
During the month of March, the RD blog will explore the metro senior and how our industry might expand in order to meet the needs and desires of this type of individual with an Urban Alternative. Stay tuned to delve into everything from what constitutes an Urban Alternative to which organizations might be well-positioned to attempt one.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.