Senior Living – a Huge Opportunity for the Hospitality Industry
There is a newly emerging market for new models of lifestyle-driven senior living, and it’s a “mammoth market that nobody owns,” according to Bob Kramer, Founder of Nexus Insights, and Co-founder, Strategic Advisor of NIC – the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.
With over 35 years of experience in the seniors housing and care industry, Kramer has long been recognized as one of the most influential and high-profile thought leaders in the field. In a recent article in the Boston Hospitality Review, he shared his thoughts on the changing market and the opportunities for the hospitality industry.
The market for senior living is growing rapidly, but the demand is for something different than traditional care-driven products. Kramer observed that baby boomers are the first generation to make housing and care decisions for their parents, due to lengthening lifespans. “And they didn’t like what they saw.” Rather than traditional assisted living solutions and nursing homes, boomers are looking for living situations that “appeal to their desire to remain engaged and fulfilled in their lives.”
“From 2020 to 2050, new models will be driven by a new type of customer, and a new way of thinking about retirement and aging,” Kramer said. “This generation of senior living products will attract younger seniors with products that deliver engagement, connection, and fulfillment, and will draw residents who still have decades to live. The business potential of such a market is significant.” Heavyweights as well as new entrants in the hospitality field, such as Disney and Latitudes Margaritaville, are already recognizing the business potential, and introducing novel housing developments aimed at seniors.
The opportunities are not without challenges, and Kramer identified several, including affordability for the growing middle-income market, sometimes called “the forgotten middle.” In order to be successful in this new market, it will also be important to address both lifestyle and care needs for senior residents. Kramer’s recommendation is “to leverage industry expertise to deliver what seniors want in terms of lifestyle choices, and what they need in terms of care.”
According to Kramer, the challenge for those entering the market, ”is to deliver personalized experiences that are metaphors for being alive rather than signals that meaningful life is over. The demand will be huge, but this product is yet to be delivered.”Read the full piece in the Boston Hospitality Review.
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