ICAA survey: trends in design for wellness by Patricia Ryan, MS
These are interesting times for providers of services for older adults. The population of “older adults” is already a huge marketplace, and growing. In 2009, along came the economic recession. The income of the oldest adults remains steady, the Baby Boomers have been hit financially, the very poor older adults are still poor, and the wealthy older adults are keeping quiet.
Providers of housing and services—retirement communities, community/seniors centers, some health clubs and hospitals—realize the value of supporting the lifestyles of older adults as well as promoting health and healthcare. Yet, financing has been a challenge over these last years, as banks tightened lending, grantors found their endowments reduced, and governments discovered they were in the red. Like the rest of the people in developed nations, older adults themselves have been somewhat frozen in time, unwilling to lose equity by selling their homes or focused on survival as they slipped into reduced incomes from unemployment. Aging in place has become a hot topic to meet personal preferences as well the reality that the number of older adults in the population requires it.