The recent drop in oil prices may only be temporary relief, as gas ranging in prices of $5-$6 per gallon is a virtual certainty. In 2011, some market reports indicated gas could rise to $6 per gallon in the future.

Seniors are not exempt from the long-term projections for the cost of fuel, and other factors relating to aging may lead some of your future residents to forego driving altogether. However, that should not make development in proximity to public transportation any less appealing.

Seniors Seek Mobility

Senior mobility issues depending on factors that are often fraught with psychological implications, emotional states, and very personal circumstances in life and health are also factors affecting the design of a senior living facility.

However, a conscientious real estate development can change the life of residents forever. That is why planning considerations, such as proximity to public transportation, public parks, designated walking and rehabilitative community spaces on the campus, well-lighted and physically safe areas (i.e. fewer stairs and more ramping) may assist a development team in designing a senior housing campus that is close and comfortable with easy access from resident units to outdoor spaces, thus more access to walk, relax or roam, enjoy retirement, attractive spaces for visitors, and for residents to move as freely as possible.

The AARP recently announced that the advocacy coalition, Transportation for America, projects more than 15.5 million Americans 65-plus will live in areas where public transportation service is poor or nonexistent.

In aspiring to develop senior housing that is closer to public transportation, such as subway, metro, or bus lines, developers would find increased demands for residents in addition to a premium on property values. The AARP further reports “Soon, even more people will be clamoring for rides as the country’s 78 million boomers, now ages 49 to 67, shed their car keys.”

Overhauling Preconceived Notions of the Typical Client

As improved healthcare initiatives extend lifespans, developers should be aware that the future residents may seek enhanced mobility options. Traditional notions of enhanced monitoring or strict stewardship of the clients have proved harmful to caring for seniors because decreased autonomy seriously hampers the resident happiness factor.

Reposition Key Locations and Reposition the Brand Value

As such, rebranding the image of senior housing is a top priority of some of the largest healthcare providers. One of the largest companies involved in care for seniors recently announced that “With an aging population, more care should be taken to ensure that seniors are provided acceptable options so that when the need for healthcare and healthcare-related activities arise, seniors may receive those options while remaining in their residence of choice.”

Development for Mobility Means Resident Empowerment

The building itself will be the vessel that carries the enhanced healthcare options and a brand reputation, but it will carry the freedom of movement and transportation options for future residents. Let Cambridge Realty Capitaldiscuss with you today how to design open spaces that spare nothing in the way of the finest care.

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