Our western world view of “senior living” still seems focused on stacking shelf models like a shopping mart of boxed lunches. From the gated resort community to “seniors only” urban condos and full service retirement residences, if you have the money you can shelve yourself away with as many choices as you want.
For some the senior living choices aren’t all that pretty. Low income. Fixed income. Mobility challenged. Suburban lost. Single women. No family. I could keep going, but as we know the make up of an aging population is quite diverse. The design of our aging communities and the support systems needed for our future will require a lot more foresight in order to feed our growing appetite for choice.
Fresh voices of those on the younger side of “senior” (whenever that begins), seem to me to be fewer between than the traditional voices of many Boomers I encounter. Just google variations on the theme of senior homes or senior living and you’ll be under-whelmed at the lack of imagination that the options present.
Of course, we have the right to decide what we think we want to match our personal situation and many of us have the money, or at least the financial plan to make it happen. But when you might be looking at a 30 year stretch of senior living for a diverse population, the innovation of design for newer options will need to take shape in our collective conversation on a much wider scale.