Today’s American seniors – the baby boomer generation – are helping to shape new trends and design in senior living. Their demand for high-quality assisted living and skilled nursing isn’t just about medical necessity, but also, it’s about lifestyle choice. Although many seniors prefer to age-in-place at home, many baby boomers are open to living in a senior living community if it’s a better home that offers attractive features. Follow along to learn about the latest trends in senior living.

Changing the narrative: Many senior living communities are eschewing from traditional nursing home models which may have negative connotations for some people. Many senior living communities provide activities for daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and preparing meals, however, unlike nursing homes, they offer more privacy, comfort, and home-like aesthetics.

Clinical services: If you or a loved one has special health needs, some facilities provide ancillary services such as memory care, short-term rehabilitation facilities, X-rays, and dermatology.

Unique amenities: More dining choices are being offered to residents such as interactive meal experiences, hospitality services, special menus, and multiple spaces and styles of dining with flexible hours for a more restaurant-like feel. With on-site amenities such as a full-service beauty salon, walking trails, woodlands, gardens, spiritual programming, fitness rooms, a café, courtyard, rooftop terrace, and pet-friendly spaces, these “extras” within the community aim to make senior living easy and more convenient.

Wellness and education programs:Communities are creating spaces for cooking demonstrations, fitness classes, yoga, and wellness spas.Many communities are adding resort-caliber spas and fitness rooms for their resident’s mind, body and soul.

Natural design elements: Senior living communities are bringing nature into their interiors through natural color and design elements, such as living plant walls, rustic wooden furniture, and oxidized steel to add warmth to the space and help enhance the mood of residents.

Improved lighting: LED bulbs have become popular due to minimal maintenance and long-term cost savings. However, LED lighting can also benefit senior residents as a therapeutic tool to imitate natural daylight, sunrise and sunset, supporting the body’s natural circadian rhythm, which is especially important for memory care residents.

Sustainability: Many senior communities are going “green” and enticing earth-conscious baby boomers who may take an active interest in how their housing impacts the environment.

Flexible spaces: Common rooms are being modified to be used in several ways depending on the activity. The spaces are able to easily transform as activities change through the years.

New technologies: New technologies, such as monitoring devices, are being used to help keep residents safe and secure in their living spaces by detecting and helping to prevent health issues and accidents like falls.

Community integration: Many senior living communities are being integrated into the surrounding communities, promoting more interaction with the general public and less seclusion. In some cases, dining areas, meeting rooms, and businesses owned by the senior community can be rented out, creating a source of revenue to offset expenses.

Niche senior living communities: Niche senior communities are for retired, like-minded individuals who share a particular chosen passion such as art, education, or golf – and some are LGBTQ-friendly or cater to seniors of specific cultures and ethnicities. These growing senior living communities are set up for these individual’s particular interests.