The Baby Boomer Demographic Boom

April 29, 2024

The Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, comprises one of the largest generational demographic groups. Currently, the Baby Boomers age wave is reaching their 60s and 70s, meaning that many of them may be moving into an age that needs more dedicated help within the home. The senior housing industry is beginning to see the effect of this and will continue to see an increased need for housing for the foreseeable future. Understanding the Baby Boomer demographic, their needs and wants, can better enable a more all-encompassing understanding of where the senior housing industry is and where it needs to be in the future. Read on to learn more about the Baby Boomer demographic and its effect on the senior housing market.

The Baby Boomer Demographic

Staying healthy longer and living more fulfilled lives is an incredible gift from modern medicine and increased access to healthcare. Life expectancy has risen over the years, with the average life expectancy going from 76.4 in 2021 to 77.5 in 2022. This increase in the length of life also means an increase in the expected need for senior housing and a rise in health concerns for the aging wave.

Diabetes is one such rising health concern with diagnosed diabetes highest in age groups 45 to 65 and 65+. This number will also continue to rise as 26.4 million people aged 65 or older have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is a stage before the need for medical intervention, when diabetes may still be reversible through diet, exercise, and medication. Diabetes management is one need that must be addressed within senior housing. This may be through onsite gyms, healthier options at dining areas in senior living communities, or even hiring staff trained in diabetic care.

Another rising health concern is the increase in Alzheimer’s diagnoses. Around 6.7 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to rise to 12.7 million by 2050.

Alzheimer’s care requires dedicated around-the-clock staff trained in symptoms of the disease and additional safety precautions to prevent things such as residents wandering off the premises.

Understanding these increasing medical needs is critical to the success of any senior housing community. No Baby Boomer, or their loved ones, will want to live in senior housing which doesn’t factor in their well-being or keep them safe. Knowing these factors, and their effect on the housing needs of the Baby Boomer generation is key to understanding overall senior housing market data.

The Housing Demand 

While the average age of those living in senior housing is in the mid-80s, the average move-in age is in the low 80s. Why is this important? Because the Boomer generation will reach this average age in 2026. The number of 80+ year-olds will increase at a rate of 4.6% per year from 2023 through 2030. This will cause a huge demand in the senior housing industry.

How can the senior housing industry prepare for this influx of move-ins? In addition to understanding move-in trends, it’s important to listen to seniors. Meeting this housing demand requires making it desirable for Boomers to move into senior housing, as they have very different wants from their housing compared to generations before them.

What Do Baby Boomers Want from Senior Housing

Baby Boomers are focusing more and more on their health to not only extend their lives but also to maximize the quality of their lives. Rethinking senior living communities as healthy and engaged places is important. Boosting wellness opportunities in senior housing is key to making housing more desirable. This might include aspects such as wellness coaches on staff, healthier options at on-site dining, fitness areas such as a gym and highly walkable grounds, and easy access to medical staff.

Use NIC MAP Vision AI to Give Baby Boomers the Ideal Senior Housing

Unlike the Silent Generation before them, Boomers are used to more of a customer-centric approach. Senior housing operators must ensure that Boomer residents feel heard within their communities. This can include elements such as doing surveys often to improve aspects that the community has asked for.

NIC MAP Vision’s AI can help with senior housing market data such as datasets on consumers that include psychographics, healthcare utilization patterns by property, operating comparison models, and much more.

With every new generation that enters the senior housing market, a new approach is needed for operators in the industry. Baby Boomers will be one of the largest demographics ever to enter the senior housing industry, so it’s essential to be ahead of their housing needs.

NIC MAP Vision gives operators, lenders, investors, developers, and owners unparalleled market data for the seniors housing and care sector.

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