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Designing the Perfect 55+ Community Home (Real Example Included)

An elderly woman in a white blouse talking on the phone

Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

The number of people older than 55 is continuously growing. As a result, the demand for designing homes for this population is increasing. This includes not only creating homes with accessibility and mobility features, but also homes that support health, mind, and well-being.

In that context, it is crucial to discuss the considerations for designing the perfect home for 55+ buyers.

7 Considerations of Designing the Perfect 55+ Community Homes and Examples 

From the layout of the home to community features, we will look at what you need to consider when designing the perfect 55+ community home.

1. Security and Safety

Security and safety go hand in hand. Homeowners want to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. You should focus on building security features into the design, such as secure locks, a monitored alarm system, and strategically placed security cameras.

Pathways, entryways, and driveways with good lighting and non-slip surfaces will ensure safety from accidents. Mobility aids such as walk-in tubs, elevators, and ramps can improve accessibility. Additionally, advanced technology features such as voice-activated assistants can alert emergency services if necessary.

Real-Life Example

Rogue Valley Manor is the home of around 1,000 residents, who are older than 60. The community is reputed for its safety and security features. It is located in Medford, Oregon, and is named after the famous manor building.

2. Pleasant Outdoor Living 

Seniors want to be able to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and beauty of nature without feeling restricted. Designing spaces with plenty of comfortable seating, lush gardens, vibrant colors, and safe walkways can create an inviting environment.

Therefore, providing pleasant outdoor living areas when designing a 55+ home is essential. Consider adding features such as decks, patios, balconies, courtyards, and shade trees to maximize outdoor living potential. Also, incorporating water elements like fountains and ponds can create a calming atmosphere.

Real-Life Example

Latitude Margaritaville is a small paradise located in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is a 55+ community, offering numerous options for fun, recreation, and outdoor activities. The good news is that the properties are on sale right now.

3. Standard Lifestyle

The lifestyle of a 55+ buyer is not the same as any other demographic. It is important to design a home that fits their needs and allows them to live comfortably. Low-maintenance finishes such as hardwood floors and quartz countertops are ideal for a 55+ buyer as they don’t require frequent replacement like carpeting or laminate floors.

Easy access storage with pull-out drawers, adjustable shelves, and floor-to-ceiling closets can be included to make it easier for the homeowner to store items. Moreover, a room dedicated to hobbies can be designed so that homeowners can continue to pursue their passions into retirement.

Real-Life Example

Mirabella is a great community for people who want to stay forever young. It is located near Arizona State University. 

 A woman sitting on a chair

4. Easy Life Management

When it comes to designing homes for 55+ buyers, easy life management is essential. This includes everything, such as wider doorways, grab bars, lever handles, and other accessibility features. This not only simplifies daily chores but also provides peace of mind.

In addition, it can be a good option to provide in-home amenities, like pre-programmed light switches, thermostats, security systems, and automated window treatments. When considering easy life management, home automation technology can also be considered. 

Real-Life Example 

Silicon Valley’s Saratoga Retirement Community is truly an example of perfect life management for older people. A great place for retirees.

5. Flexible Design Plans

Flexibility is key in designing homes for the 55+ crowd. This means having the option to change and modify the home’s layout over time. Flexible design plans enable people to make their homes more suitable for them as they age.

For example, a home with an open floor plan allows for easier movement and greater flexibility when accommodating wheelchairs or walkers. As well, single-story homes are often preferred by older adults since they avoid stairs. Furthermore, creating extra bedroom space, a home office, or a sunroom is a great way to make a home more comfortable and enjoyable.

Real-Life Example 

The Villages is perfectly planned with more than 130,000 homes for a 55+ crowd. The community is located in central Florida. 

6. Wellness Features

To design a 55+ community home, you must incorporate features that support the health and well-being of the homeowners. Wellness features should include the followings,

  • Physical Activity: There are plenty of opportunities for physical activity in the community. This could include access to a gym or swimming pool, walking paths, or nearby parks.
  • Mental Stimulation: Consider activities that encourage intellectual engagement when designing homes for 55+ buyers. This could include access to libraries, book clubs, puzzles, board games, or art classes.
  • Good Nutrition: Incorporating healthy food options within the community should be a priority. This could include access to gardens, farmer’s markets, or local grocery stores with fresh produce.
  • Green Spaces: Natural green spaces are essential for providing a sense of peace and tranquility. This could include parks, gardens, or walking trails.

Real-Life Example

For this, we cannot help mentioning another community in Florida, called “Colony Cove.” The residents enjoy various amenities in this community. 

7. Planned Ahead for The Next-Gen

You want your home to remain attractive and comfortable for many years. In order to do this, implement features that are adaptable and upgradeable. For example, incorporating universal design principles in your home will keep it accessible in the future.

On top of that, floor plans and entryways should be spacious enough for wheelchairs. Try to provide a wide range of options for how people may interact with the space. Additionally, consider energy efficiency when designing your home. This not only helps the environment but also keeps costs low for the next generation.

Real-Life Example 

Currently, there are 7,700 properties in Sun City Summerlin, a renowned 55+ community. It is perfectly planned for the future, with 80 associations and clubs.   

Designing a home for 55+ buyers requires taking a holistic approach. This involves more than just addressing accessibility and mobility issues. Homeowners must consider their overall health, well-being, and lifestyle when designing new homes.

With thoughtful consideration and design plans, 55+ buyers can enjoy a comfortable and safe living space that is tailored to their individual needs.