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Real estate for the silver generation

5' read - published August, 24th 2023

The real estate sector is constantly reinventing itself to meet the changing needs of the population. One of the most striking trends in recent years has been the emergence of real estate solutions specially designed for seniors. The global increase in life expectancy has led to a significant rise in the number of older individuals. By 2050, the world's population of people aged 60 years and older is projected to double to 2.1 billion, with the number of those aged 80 years or older expected to triple to 426 million(1).


Far from clichés and stereotypes, this new approach seeks to offer seniors a living environment that is adapted, fulfilling and stimulating while at the same time looking at the financial costs for the individual and society at large. In this article, we explore some of the most interesting innovations in real estate for seniors, which are opening up exciting new perspectives.

Liens sociaux
Intergenerational communities and social connection

Instead of retiring to isolated retirement homes, many seniors are now opting for intergenerational communities. These unique real estate projects bring together people of all ages, encouraging exchanges and the creation of social ties. Seniors can stay active, share experiences and interact with younger generations, helping to preserve their physical and mental vitality.


Bridge Meadow is an intergenerational housing community that brings together adoptive families, foster families, and seniors in a supportive and caring environment, fostering positive relationships between generations. Another example is Jardins d’haïti, a residential facility for dependent elderly people, which attracts younger people, including a nursery for 12 children, promoting interaction between the elderly and the young.


Additionally, there are shared facilities that emphasize social interactions and cost-effectiveness. High Street House is a co-living facility for people of all ages. Shared spaces include a co-working lounge that doubles as an event space, a spacious kitchen and dining room, a laundry room, and a staircase that is also a shared library. Ibihaven offers similar spaces among a series of small gardens. Kallimos offers dense neighborhoods consisting of small accommodations, providing privacy without isolation or loneliness. The residents are surrounded by neighbors who know them well, and they can live in their own homes.

Qualité de vie
Adapted housing and quality of life

Accessibility is a major issue for seniors. More and more real estate developers are incorporating specific features to make daily life easier for seniors. These adapted homes include access ramps, wider doors, ergonomic bathrooms and other practical features to promote residents' independence. These solutions enable seniors to live longer in their own homes (“aging in place”), in complete safety and comfort. To achieve this, we require experts who specialize in renovating old buildings, such as Batinea, which specializes in adapting old bathrooms to meet the new needs of the elderly.


The elderly often have reservations about moving to a nursing home, as it results in a loss of independence, reduced mobility, and social isolation. It is worth noting that, on average, individuals in Switzerland who enter nursing homes have a life expectancy of only three more years(2). So how can we offer medical support adapted to the needs of each individual in a residential setting? 


A Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC)(3) is a community or neighborhood where older adults reside, even though the original design and construction of the dwellings were not intended specifically for seniors. NORCs receive program funding and support to integrate on-site health and services, enabling aging in place through partnerships between residents, social agencies, building managers, and community partners.


The architects of Eltehto decided to develop a complex focused on the quality of life in society. They have separated the residential functions from the care functions. 

Humanitas Deventer is a unique intergenerational care home in the Netherlands that integrates medical care for its elderly residents while fostering a sense of community through the cohabitation of six university students. The students live there for free and, in exchange, “work” 30 hours a week, by being good neighbors, and talk with the elderly. This relieves the nurses and brings a breath of fresh air into the nursing home.

Serviced residences and services for seniors

Serviced residences represent an attractive alternative for seniors looking for a lifestyle that combines autonomy and assistance. These complexes offer independent apartments with à la carte services such as catering, housekeeping and 24-hour security. Residents can thus enjoy a secure environment while retaining their freedom of choice. The Clos des Vignes project in France focuses on keeping elderly individuals who need some help as autonomous as possible. They offer various services, including meal delivery, home care, home help, and even transportation on demand, tailored to the needs of each individual.


On the other hand, services are offered to the elderly to help them live in their homes as long as possible. GoGoGrandparent is a service that enables seniors to request Uber or Lyft rides through a phone call, making it accessible for those who may not use smartphones. Additionally, they offer grocery shopping, meal delivery, prescription medication delivery, and help in finding helpful home services like dog walkers, landscapers, plumbers, etc. The Village-to-Village Network is a nationwide movement in the United States that connects aging individuals with local volunteers providing similar services. 

Technology for seniors

Advances in smart technologies are also having a significant impact on the real estate sector for seniors. Connected homes equipped with home automation devices enable seniors to remotely control lighting, temperature and shutters, as well as receive alerts in case of emergency. Connected objects and dedicated applications make it easier for seniors to stay at home, offering them personalized medical monitoring, virtual assistance and the means to communicate with their loved ones.


Examples of ambient assisted living technologies include sensors that can be installed in the house can monitor if doors are well closed, warn before food starts burning, or turn off the stove if the resident forgets. Other innovations, like Sensfloor, a sensible floor, can notify staff or relatives in case of any unusual activity, such as a fall of the resident. Companies like Eight Sleep Pod and Bryte Balance™ are offering smart bed covers and mattresses to enhance people's sleep experience.  There are also low-tech technologies like the AssiStep Stair Walker, an innovative mobility aid designed to help individuals with limited mobility maintain their independence and safely navigate stairs in their homes.



Real estate for seniors is evolving rapidly, offering innovative solutions for a fulfilling life at any age. Intergenerational communities, adapted housing, serviced residences and the integration of technology have transformed the real estate landscape to meet the specific needs of seniors. These advances enable seniors to live an active, enriching and secure life, while remaining connected to those around them. The real estate revolution for seniors is underway, and it fosters a society that embraces and supports its older members.

(1) Source: WHO, Ageing and health, October, 1st 2022.

(2) Source: Swissinfo, So stirbt man in der Schweiz, March, 4th 2019.

(3) Source: New York State, Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC)

Notes et sources
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