Senior housing used to be a “sure bet” for investors. Their gamble was based on statistics that showed the Silver Tsunami of Baby Boomers turning 80 in the next 10 years. In anticipation of this aging population, investors rushed to back development of the housing units that would be required to meet the rising demands. And now they’re dealing with a lot of vacant properties causing a senior housing glut.
Mish Shedlock reports that this might be one of the biggest real estate miscalculations in recent memory.
What’s Behind the Senior Housing Glut?
There were double the number of new senior housing units built in 2018, compared to 2014. Senior housing units are expected to hit an all-time high in 2023. There’s now a large supply of this type of housing while occupancy rates are lower than expected.
My anecdotal observation is too many people fail to move into them as soon as they should.
Some experts think the vacant housing may be due to the improved ability we have to control the progression chronic illnesses.
There are seniors who just don’t want to live among a bunch of other old people. They may see it as a jinx. Others just feel depressed by the idea.
Technology is also a driving factor. Venture capital and other investment firms are expected to invest about $1 billion this year in “aging in place” technologies. That’s about double the spending from three years ago. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “Seniors would prefer to remain at home near families and friends than live among others their own age.” Advances in technologies help support those wishes.
Or at least create the perception that their care at home is comparable to the care they’d receive in housing designed for the care of its senior residents. My experience is that too many people postpone moving into these facilities, to their detriment.
That River of Denial
When long-term care is needed, no technology can replace warm, loving, human touch and the ready support of community and friends. At a time in life when you’re less mobile, or cognitively impaired, my opinion is home is often not the healthiest, safest place to be.
I personally believe that the desire to age at home has less to do with longer lifespans, better treatments, ageism, or technology. It has to do with the topic I most frequently write about: Denial.
I find that some people don’t want to admit they are in need or are approaching the time when they require more help. For example, elderly spouses, frail themselves, often choose to be primary caregivers, insisting “nothing’s wrong”. Denial often detracts from the dignified, graceful outcome that might have been possible.
Are you ready to plan for your best possible future? If so, click here to receive a free, no-obligation quote for your own LTCi coverage. The life that is waiting for you might surprise you.