A New Way to Plan an Adult Community

An article by business reporter Catherine Reagor in the Arizona Republic (www.azcentral.com) on Saturday, January 12, 2013, described the planning process for a proposed over-55 community in the greater Phoenix area.  The developers of the planned community known as Verrado, in Buckeye, AZ are laying the groundwork for an active-adult community on the same site.  However, instead of building first and recruiting over-55 buyers later, they are actively seeking the input both from, and on behalf of, their target audience even before they hire an architect.

Sun City, the Del Webb community that revolutionized living arrangements for active retired adults fifty years ago, is also located in Arizona.  This model of a community for adults over 55 living independently but utilizing community resources for activities and transportation has been replicated across the country.  The folks at Verrado have observed that this model may not work as well for the baby boomer generation that is now facing retirement.  We may be working longer than our parents, so that we will be older when we finally move to a retirement community.  We have fewer children, or maybe none at all, so our retirment community may need to be in the business of providing hands-on care if we become infirm.    On the other hand, we are accustomed to being more physically active than our parents, and we we don’t want to don’t want to give up the variety of dining and entertainment options that we have enjoyed during our working  years.

The developers are actively seeking boomers and retirees who want to provide input into what they would like to see in a senior community.  You can go to www.visionverrado.com, or give them a call at 623-215-6077.  Once this feedback has been compiled, they intend to seek the input of professionals who serve the senior community, including social workers, physicians and care managers.   Only then will this information be turned over to architects and designers to plan a community that will truly meet the needs of its residents.

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