New and Emerging Trends in Seniors’ Housing
Canadians over the age of 55 are a large, growing and diverse segment of the Canadian population. They are also a constantly evolving group of individuals, whose wants, needs and preferences are different from those of previous generations. As a result, developers and sponsors who want to attract this increasingly important demographic must stay on top of the latest trends and tendencies in their target market.
To help developers and sponsors build housing targeted to Canadians aged 55-plus, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recently released a new version of its in-depthHousing For Older Canadians: The Definitive Guide to the Over-55 Market. The five-volume series is available on-line and describes the challenges and opportunities that result from new and emerging trends in seniors housing. These trends include:
- Commitment to environmental sustainability and energy efficiency: In the face of increased competition, many operators of retirement homes and long-term care facilities are looking for ways to improve the environmental sustainability of their projects while lowering their utility costs.
- More diversified programming and amenities: The generation now entering retirement is, on average, better educated, more active and healthier than previous generations of retirees. Older Canadians are therefore demanding more diversified services, programs and amenities that offer greater independence for men and women.
- Greater emphasis on marketing and promotion: With greater competition in the marketplace, developers and sponsors are increasingly looking for more innovative ways to market and promote their accommodations. While brochures and flyers still remain important tools, operators are increasingly turning to the Internet to create awareness and inform consumers on the choices that are available to them.
- More flexible, welcoming and accessible building designs: In contrast to the institutional feel that characterized many “old folks’ homes” in the past, seniors’ residences today often resemble hotels, with larger suites and common areas, better heating and cooling, and more advanced communications and safety systems. Buildings designed today are also more flexible than buildings in the past, which enables them to change and adapt as the market evolves.
- Improvements in technology and options: Continuing improvements in technology have led to the introduction of such features as sophisticated resident tracking and emergency response systems, enhanced ventilation systems, anti-microbial carpets and new food preparation systems. The increased use of the Internet has also meant that computers and wireless networks are now standard components in almost all new senior-oriented residences.
For more information
Download a free copy of Housing for Older Canadians: The Definitive Guide to the Over-55 Market, visit our website at www.cmhc.ca or call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642. For over 65 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency, and a source of objective, reliable housing information.