Daily Court Reporter - News Boomers are transforming retirement to suit their lifestyles
Boomers are transforming retirement to suit their lifestyles
KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer
It's no surprise that baby boomers are transforming retirement communities just as they left their collective mark on all other cultural touchstones.
Technology, independence, education and health are just a few of the items seniors expect to figure largely into their lives during their golden years, according to a recent web review.
"Technology transforms care; how it's given and received," Carol Marak wrote for AssistedLivingFacilities.org. "Boomers are wired. Technology is essential and integral to how and where they live.
"They depend on technology for social connections, ease and wellness."
Tech sensors assist today's seniors with identifying health issues before they become serious problems and digital innovations make it possible for residents and patients to use portable devices to access medical information, monitor vital signs, take tests at home and carry out other tasks.
"Health care enters the age of personal empowerment shifting control and power from hospitals, doctors and other caregivers to patients, leading to health care improvements," she continued.
Tech features of some retirement communities allow nurses to monitor residents through closed circuit television and the same nurses use smartphones and tablets to actively engage with residents,
Communities may have a Wi-Fi enabled cyber cafe to allow residents to connect with family via social media and communication apps.
Contributing to an individual's overall feeling of independence are community interaction and health and wellness.
Marak noted that seniors' need for community interaction such as lifelong learning, volunteering and civic engagement have resulted in libraries having become a fixture in community centers.
Outlets for entertainment and proximity to convenient service providers, such as banks and the post office, are just as important to residents as is access to clinical and physician services.
"Seniors want good health and activity," Marak continued. "They seek fitness, health education, rehabilitative therapy and other programs that support their independence and lifestyles.
Today's health and wellness programs commonly include aquatic therapy with pools, saunas and whirlpools; senior health and nutrition classes; meditation gardens; walking trails; and recreation and sport courts.
Boomers' desire to remain engaged with their families and the community at large also has spurred developers to incorporate this intergenerational mixing into their community designs.
Rather than close off a community's fitness center to non-residents, a community gym allows community members from the outside to share the facilities with residents.
Intergenerational programs dispel age-related stereotypes, forge enriching relationships between young and old, and foster age-friendly communities, Marak wrote.
"Instead of wasting away, residents mentor younger generations, and live in an environment that simulates normal family and community dynamics," she added. "In intergenerational programs, there's genuine power sharing."
Other examples of these programs include day care programs for children and seniors to share activities and K-3 schools in senior facilities.
Date Published: July 21, 2017