Last Updated: August 16, 2018
In the last decade, senior housing developers have focused on an increasingly popular form of senior living: university-based retirement communities. These senior living communities are providing both students and residents many benefits in an intergenerational and stimulating environment.
Learn more about how seniors are going back to school while residing in university-based retirement communities.
The Benefits of Senior Housing at Universities
Senior housing on university campuses benefits everyone involved, students and residents alike.
University-based retirement community benefits for residents include:
- Access to university amenities. Seniors who live in university-based retirement communities often have full access to the same university amenities as students, such as various dining options, gyms and libraries.
- Better health. Research indicates a link between education and better health.
- Socialization and stimulation. Engagement in university courses and university life keeps seniors from becoming socially isolated.
Campus Continuum, a consulting firm for university-based retirement communities, states that the benefits are indeed appealing to seniors. More than half of seniors aged 55-75 said they liked the idea of retiring to senior housing on a university campus, according to a survey they commissioned.
University-Based Retirement Communities Create a Vibrant Campus
Not only do seniors benefit, but the universities do too:
- Seniors become campus volunteers. Seniors at these communities frequently participate in university volunteer activities.
- Seniors create a vibrant intergenerational community. The inclusion of residents and seniors at university campuses encourages intergenerational activities and friendships.
- Senior housing keeps enrollment high. Traditional universities have struggled to keep classes and enrollment high, which the inclusion of seniors on university campuses helps to achieve.
Arizona State University President, Michael Crow, was quoted in a recent article saying how university-based retirement communities become “the world’s coolest dormitory” and can reconceptualize lifelong learning.
“There’s no reason everyone can’t be a college student and engaged in what this community has to offer for the entirety of their lives.”
Universities With Senior Housing
Campus Continuum maintains a list of current university-based retirement communities on their website.
Locations that provide care in addition to independent living options include:
- The Forest at Duke: Duke, Durham, North Carolina
- Lasell Village: Lasell College, Newton, Massachusetts
- Holy Cross Village: Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
- The Village at Penn State: Penn State University, State College, Pennsylvania
- Oak Hammock: University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Many more university-based retirement communities are on the way. Gerard Badler, Campus Continuum’s Managing Director, says:
“There is renewed interest among economic developers of college towns and landowners who are near campuses.”
Stephen Johnson of the investing firm, Ziegler Cos., says that we should expect an increasing number of these types of senior housing communities to be developed.