Aging Residents Bring New and Unique Challenges for Community Associations

Many community associations today have Baby Boomer owners who are opting to stay in their homes, rather than move out to senior communities, nursing homes, or family homes. Managers and boards need to recognize and prepare for the impact this is going to have on their communities.

For starters, it can be difficult in general for older residents to get around. But an association’s common areas can be adjusted to make it easier and safer for your older owners.

Paul Grucza, principal with PDG and Associates, consultants for the association management industry, suggests reaching out to owners to better assess their needs before making such changes, though.

“I would first take a voluntary and confidential survey to gain a perspective on the owners’ conditions,” he says. “Are they experiencing difficulties? Have things changed in their lives so they need new things to be ambulatory? What’s difficult for them in the building, and what kind of workaround are they using, if any? Then you can develop a plan for the common areas.

“Some modifications are relatively easy, like lighting, flooring surfaces, and assist rails in hallways. Access, doorways, ramps — those are going to get more expensive, if even possible.”

That last bit regarding feasibility is important. Grucza says many buildings are so old that they were built well before any legal requirements regarding issues like accessibility applied. This can make it impossible for even proactive boards to take desired action.

“One client was asked by an owner to provide an alternate access ramp at the front door,” Grucza says. He estimates that 70 percent of the owners were original owners dating back to the 1960s and are now in their 70s.

Read the full article for more insights on the challenges that aging residents will bring to your association clients, and how to prepare for and respond to them appropriately: Aging in Place Brings New Association Management Challenges

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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