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Designing wellness facilities and living environments by Donna Jackel

Choice is the buzzword in today’s housing market for older adults. The challenge, say experts, is how to meet the needs of current clients while building in flexibility for future residents.

The average age that people move into independent living communities is trending upward, rising from 80 to 84 over the past decade,1 according to Edie Smith, senior vice president and research director at Oxford, Mississippi-based ProMatura Group, a full-service market research and advisory firm specializing in age 50-plus consumers. Meanwhile, the needs and desires of the 78 million or so Baby Boomers in the United States2 are influencing everything from building design to dining services.

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