When an increasing number of seniors become economically displaced, communities suffer from a lack of diversity and the richness that multiple generations bring to the mix.
So, when developers design low-income senior housing, amenities that maintain the residents’ quality of life come fast on the hills of affordability in importance.
Staying active is important in every phase of life, but the phrase “use it or lose it” applies doubly to the aged.
The best fitness centers (and pools) in senior living communities have at least one permanent staffer to help residents use equipment, but even without, equipment matters. Look for recumbent bikes, elliptical machines, treadmills and rowers.
And if there are classes offered – even better!
Active minds are just as important, especially for seniors for whom physical activity is limited!
Many low-income senior housing communities have libraries, whether more traditional or simply places where people can leave used books and then take a new one to enjoy.
In fact, some city libraries have partnered with developments where low-income senior housing is part of the mixed-use plan – and with great effects for both.
Aging can be a lonely process, which is why remaining social – and enjoying time with peers – is so important for residents of low-income senior housing.
The best recreational spaces are flexible, meaning they can be used for Scrabble, poker or mah jongg play in the morning, a quilting circle in the afternoon and host a ‘50s Doo Wop party on Friday night!
Additionally, home theater spaces can host movie nights while a large rec room could also house a stage for visiting productions or even those put on by residents.
Smaller space with comfortable seating offers a place other than their units to simply read or sit with an opportunity to be social.
Walking paths give seniors a place to be active and breathe fresh air (the way they did it in their day before everyone started using indoor gyms). Wide paths allow for bikes, jogging or walking.
Seating along the paths offers more sedentary ways to enjoy birds, lakes and landscaping. Outdoor space also could also include a garden where members of the community grow flowers or food.
It may seem counterintuitive to have a playground at a low-income senior housing complex, but just a small plot of land with something fun to climb on makes visiting more fun for grandchildren.
With a place for kids to play – and a nice area for residents to sit, talk and interact – a community feels open to everyone, not just the seniors who call it home.