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INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE: Keeping Up with Today’s Aging Adults – Differentiation Through Renovation  

Dec 5, 2023

Today’s generation of aging baby boomers and seniors represent a unique demographic unlike the previous generations we’ve built for. Seniors today are more active, social and technologically savvy. Their overall lifestyle preferences are distinctively different; shifting the ways we think about the design and construction of aging adult facilities.  

With the wave of new and trendy aging adult product hitting the market, operators with older and outdated facilities need strategies to modernize their communities and remain competitive. Differentiation through renovation can be a feasible route for owners to keep up with the shift in lifestyle preferences and needs of today’s savvy seniors. When creating spaces that cater to this dynamic and diverse generation of seniors, owners should seize opportunities to partner with the right team of experts to maximize differentiation.  

Lifestyle Preferences: Differentiation Drives Sales 

In today’s competitive senior housing market, differentiation for owners is key. Owners must align their facility’s design with the lifestyle preferences of today’s seniors to not only attract new residents, but also maximize the retention of current residents and staff. Drawn to spaces that cater more to individual preferences, this generation of aging seniors does not want to conform to the traditional standards of senior living facilities. For owners, this means getting creative with their aging assets to remain relevant and competitive. 

A thoughtful design will mirror a traditional home environment and respond to the active and technologically savvy preferences of today’s busy and social seniors. Variation in room sizes and layout options are more appealing to this age of seniors in the market looking for a personalized “at home” experience. Outdoor amenity spaces for activities like yoga, exercise, pickleball courts and walking trails cater more to the active lifestyle. 

Partnering with the right team of designers and builders that specialize in senior housing is crucial. The early collaboration of expertise ensures the design remains relevant in a constantly changing market, meeting the demands of both residents and staff while maintaining profitability. With the rapid delivery of brand-new senior living product, early engagement for owners with renovation needs is crucial for the meticulous planning needed to assess current conditions and develop a thoughtful design and plan for renovation. 

Maximizing Impact without Breaking the Budget 

Affordable senior housing facilities often face budget constraints when it comes to renovations. The current demand for renovation is primarily driven by mid-level facilities aiming to modernize and stay competitive. To keep projects budget-friendly, owners should determine a renovation budget that factors in potential increases in occupancy and rents. 

Early engagement with a design and construction team is key for your budget. Their expertise can maximize both function and aesthetics while collaboration between stakeholders fosters opportunity for cost-savings. To avoid unforeseen conditions and added costs, owners should conduct a thorough due diligence on the existing structure, allowing the team to address any challenges posed by an aging facility more effectively.  

Owners don’t have to break the budget to remain competitive. Renovating an existing facility offers cost advantages over constructing a new one, and the project timeline is often significantly shorter, reducing interest expenses during construction. 

Active Construction on an Active Facility: Prioritizing Safety and Resident Well-Being 

Renovations of existing and operating facilities are complex. Safety is the number one priority on a job site. Oftentimes, this requires a meticulously planned phasing of the project, ensuring residents, employees, and visitors stay out of construction zones and the operations of the facility remain uninterrupted. During the renovation for Renaissance ALF in Tampa, FL, the DFG team staggered start times to complete renovations for an occupied memory care facility, a partially occupied, 120-bed independent living facility, and extensive renovations to an unoccupied 70,000 SF skilled nursing facility to convert it into their assisted living building to accomplish the complete overhaul of their senior housing campus. 

Owners can help kickstart a smoother transition into construction by performing a review of their current occupancy load, which informs decisions about relocating residents and minimizing facility disruptions during renovations.  Due to the careful planning and phasing often required, renovations to an active facility may take longer than a dormant one. Upfront collaboration between owners, subcontractors, and staff is essential to the successful, and safe, delivery of these renovations. 

Renovating an aging adult facility demands a strategic approach and a robust design and construction team. By partnering with a team of experts, owners can ensure their facility remains not only relevant and competitive but also thriving in this evolving landscape of senior living. 

Del Diaz is one of Diaz Fritz Group’s (DFG) co-founders and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of the firm. He has achieved nearly 4 decades of experience and has led the DFG team through over 1800 successful projects and generated over $700 million in revenue since 1985. Del’s career in the built industry has provided him with a fulfilling environment that embraces creativity and allows for the implementation of visionary ideas.

Del leads projects with a client-first approach beginning with the client’s end in mind. As a business executive in a uniquely fast-paced industry, Del’s philosophy to ultimate project success is early-engagement and a strong foundation in partnerships to keep up with ever-changing market trends. This has positioned DFG as an industry leader, improving the client services and partners in the architecture and broker communities.

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About: 

Diaz Fritz Group is a reputable mid-sized, regional general contractor specializing in ground-up and interior renovation projects across various sectors including senior living, retail, office, healthcare, and industrial warehouse facilities. 

We place a high value on relationships and integrity. Our commitment to fairness and honesty governs every interaction with our employees, clients, vendors, and partners. At Diaz Fritz Group, our clients count on our dependability, drive, trust, and especially our integrity. We embrace a culture of continuous learning, growth, and improvement, both individually and as a team.

Press Contact

Robyn Huber
V.P. of Business Development
C: 813.460.4015
E: rhuber@diazfritz.com

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