Article by Linda Balentine in the January/February 2016 issue of Directions magazine.
“Hazel is 82, the average age of a senior who decides to leave his or her independent lifestyle behind and move to a more supportive senior community. Hazel’s husband died suddenly a few months ago, and now her home, so comfortable for the past 40 years, feels empty and even threatening. Her children are all hundreds of miles away with busy lives of their own, and Hazel has no intention of involving them in her move. She has lots of friends, but none are physically capable anymore of helping her pack or even unpack.
“The scope of the project keeps her up at night. What will she do with a house full of furniture that she can’t possibly use in her new one-bedroom apartment? What about her husband’s car and the woodworking tools?
“Hazel’s story is not unique. Multiply some version of it by 80 million over the next 30 years, and you will begin to get the picture of an exploding market segment that will need special moving help. According to data from the 2010 census, the U.S. population 65 and older is growing faster than the total U.S. population—and is at a higher percentage than in any previous census. Between 2000 and 2010, the group of Americans 65 and older grew 15.1 percent, while the total U.S. population grew 9.7 percent. Within that age group, 85- to 94-year-olds swelled from 3.9 million to 5.1 million, an increase of 29.9 percent.
“The benefits of focusing on the booming senior population are significant….” Read more »