Baby Boomers, people born between 1946-1964, are moving into senior citizenship but not looking to move at all. In fact, the only movement they’re interested in is the one that supports their plans to age in place.
About 47.8 million Americans, or one in every seven, was 65 years of age or older in 2015, according to the U.S. Census. That total number marked a 30 percent increase from just a decade earlier, and it’s projected to more than double to 98 million by 2060.
An increasing number of people in this demographic have no interest in checking into a retirement home. They have a home, thank you, very much, and want to do what it takes to stay there as long as possible. As their numbers climb, the question arises: Will industries such as construction and healthcare handle the trend reactively as a problem or proactively as an opportunity? At WillScot, we know anything that impacts our customers’ industries also affects us, so this generation is among the demographics we keep an eye on.
Below, courtesy of the Administration on Aging, Administration for Community Living and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a chart that shows how significantly the senior population has grown, and will continue to do so.
The National Aging in Place Council, which promotes National Aging-in-Place Week in October, provides seniors advice and a list of recommended services related to fields such as healthcare, financial management, transportation, insurance, day care, home remodeling and elder law. Still, the movement appears to be in its infancy.
Though older people have the highest rate of home ownership in the country – about 80 percent – less than 4 percent of U.S. housing stock is equipped with step-free entrance ways, single-floor living capabilities and wide hallways that accommodate wheelchairs, the New York Times reported last month, citing the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Those three elements are exactly what aging-in-place homes require.
The National Association of Homebuilders has a program in place to create Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS), who have learned the necessary technical, business-management and customer-service skills to properly modify homes for seniors. There are about 3,500 CAPS graduates, about one-tenth the number that’s needed in the coming years, the Times reported.
As construction, healthcare and other industries do make adjustments to tailor their services to the growing aging-in-place customer, WillScot will be there to help. Whether it’s mobile offices for construction crews creating new senior-friendly housing communities, or modular sales offices customized to appeal to older customers, we’re ready to offer you the best possible solution.
We’ve been helping businesses age in place throughout our 60-plus-year history, providing the space needed to let them seamlessly renovate, expand and overcome a variety of different temporary obstacles.
Are you a part of the movement to stay put?