Do you ever feel that you’re constantly driving behind a senior citizen? Well, there’s a 26 percent chance that you are. That is the percentage of baby boomers between the ages of 48 and 67 years who are driving, living, and working among us. Yes, I am one of them and the evidence is on my head. I’m sporting plenty of gray (or is it silver?) hair these days. But because I spend a good amount of my discretionary time on my Harley, I prefer to call that distinguished color, well, chrome.
According to the U.S. Census, nearly 8,000 people turn 60 every day. Many will continue to work late into their 60s and beyond, if not out of preference but because they must. The economy has certainly kept a lid on the growth of our retirement savings. However, over the next two decades, a wave of us will choose to retire from the workforce and seek to secure long-term living and care arrangements for our golden years. Many predict that the United States is already behind in planning for a wave of demand to accommodate this so-called “Silver Tsunami” of retirees.
The boomers are a different bunch compared to the generation before us, known as the silent generation. Boomers are likely to be more educated, wealthier, much less traditional and more social than their parents’ generation. They are likely to reject for themselves the type of senior care that they witnessed for the elders in their own family.
I watched my grandmother as she aged in a small-town nursing home, and the experience was scary. I decided then that I wanted a better quality for myself, my wife and parents when we enter the end stages of life.
New senior living communities have sprouted up all over Texas, touting lifestyle, convenience, community, and a plethora of services. These health centers focus on aging with dignity and grace. The newer facilities do a great job at accommodating visiting family members today; it’s no longer the scary place I remembered visiting when I was younger.
Jones Lang LaSalle recently completed phase two of Montereau, a continuing care retirement community in Tulsa. It offers accommodations and services for all four stages of retirement living: independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care. For a 90 percent refundable entrance fee and monthly assessment, the facility can take you from your active independent senior lifestyle through the final stages of life—no need to go anywhere else.
It comes complete with several dining options for the residents, covered parking, incredible living and common spaces and updated finishes and décor. It also includes a spa/salon/fitness center, swimming pool, chapel, movie theater, gardens, fountains and a club room for pool, games and cocktails. Last, but not least, and my personal favorite, an on-site private lake stocked with hungry black bass.
The Montereau expansion quickly filled up with most of the units pre-sold prior to completion. I could easily see my family members or myself living in a similar complex. Here’s to more senior facilities developed with covered parking for this old chrome-haired guy on an iron horse, packing all his fishing gear.