Community, State Efforts Help 50-Plus Stay in Their Homes

Some local governments are working to keep their growing 50-plus populations aging in place. And as the baby boom hits the older demographic, builders are increasingly part of the conversation.

One Minnesota senior housing builder is working with state and local governments toward that effort, a recent Finance & Commerce article reports.

“The future of senior housing will be really quite blurred,” said Tamara Connolly, director of property management for Lang Nelson Associates, a longtime senior housing builder in St. Louis Park. “We have to build and modify communities to accommodate seniors who don’t want to move from phase to phase to phase.”

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The city of Minneapolis wants to retain its older people rather than see them flee to senior developments in the suburbs, said Tom Streitz, director of housing and policy development. But the city is not ready.

“That really is going to be a huge demographic shift that we have to plan for,” Streitz said. “Where we could play a role is to be flexible in our planning to allow more modified uses, and I think that’s something that we have to look at.”

Year-round lake home retirees should also consider what types of services are available in their lake communities, including chore services and health care.

“Minnesota overall does a very good job,” [said Alissa Boroff, director of Access Solutions, a division of the Augustana Care Corp. in Minneapolis]. “We have a lot of senior housing, but that’s really geared toward somebody in their 80s and 90s. The thing we don’t have a lot of and we don’t do well is having active-adult housing that might be just more townhomes or villa-type living with more of that community focus.”

The city’s 50-plus Housing Council of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities in encouraging universal design, including home alterations that can help seniors remain at home such as replacing doorknobs with handles.

Read the full article here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace