08 July 2013

A Dwelling Deluge

At least in the press, both print and pixel:

Retiring Baby Boomers Create Housing Boomtowns
by Shanthi Bharatwaj
imageBaby boomers -- those born between 1946 and 1964, constituting roughly 75 million people -- are retiring in increasing numbers, prompting a new cycle of growth…

Introducing the retirement commune
When it comes to living arrangements, boomers are determined to get by with a little help from their friends.
By Sally Abrahms

Baby boomers' mobile-home paradise
By Lisa Margonelli
Few people aspire to be old or to live in a trailer, but we need to be more open to the possibilities inherent in both…

New Clark Retirement CEO focuses on Baby Boomers
By Charlsie Dewey
imageBrian Pangle, the new president and CEO of Clark Retirement Community, considers himself to be on the tail-end of the baby boomer generation, and he said he knows members of his generation hope to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

imageMinnesota targets baby boomers with specialist housing options
By Jane A Peterson
Across America, providers of housing and services for older people are gearing up for… those 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.

The downpour continues:

New Canfield development caters to baby boomers
By Jamison Cocklin
The cover of Abbey Road has no printed words. It is a photo of the Beatles, in side view, crossing the street in single file.… At a time when new home construction has only just started to ramp back up in the Mahoning Valley and appraisals finally are on the rise, word of the Abbey Road Villas is spreading — but it isn’t just the market stoking demand.

One clue is in the name. Recall that Abbey Road was the final album The Beatles recorded in 1969…

New Bergen County handyman franchise caters to Baby Boomers
by Myles Ma
http://media.nj.com/static/njo/static/img/logo_v001.pngKeith Paul helped found HandyPro in 1996 when he said a contractor ripped off an elderly relative.

"We started the company just helping out seniors," Paul said. As it turns out, seniors are a fast-growing customer base.

I left out a few.  I didn’t want you to drown.

The point of this gathering: These unwieldy folks are not going quietly and peacefully into middle-to-old age. They are going to insist on choices for housing. One size won’t fit all.  The only through-line might be (probably should be) elements of Universal Design.

I wrote about it all in my book ©2005, 2007. An excerpt (PDF):

Selling Universal Design To Baby Boomers/Aging In Place
… Past generations tended to get excited about modern conveniences that would make their lives easier. They'd walk into a planned housing unit and exclaim, "Look! It's got this and this and this and this!" The more features, the better. The more 'planned,' the better. It was time to start a new life. Time to be rewarded for all the hard work, and relax.

Not so with Baby Boomers. We take most modern conveniences for granted. And we don't want to start new lives, but continue the lives we already have.

CVRCompBaby Boomers will be anticipating a seamless transition. Instead of "Look! It has this and this and this," we'll be sniffing around for friendly, useful spaces. You'll want us to say, "Look! There's a perfect place for my pottery wheel," or "There are plenty of windows and sunlight. My house plants and indoor herb garden will do fine in here," or "Good. I can put up big, deep shelves for my books and CDs," or "Here's the perfect room for our side business on Ebay," or "Here's a place where I can soundproof a recording studio or entertainment center," or "This oversized back door is great because I can roll my bicycle in and out without squeezing and jerking it around - and the extra-wide hallway means there's plenty of room so I can just lean it against the wall and we won't bang into it every time we walk past it."

A collection of posts and links (2005-2013):

Aging In Place & Universal Design