Builders Design

behind the science

Know What You Are Up Against. Why So Few People Choose Senior Living


Each and every one of you can tell story after story about families whose lives have been transformed by moving to senior housing and care communities.

In fact, most people say they should have moved earlier.

If lives are transformed, why is it so hard to get people to move? Why?

Unfortunately, lots of things are against us.

Staying put

AARP reports that 90% of 65+ population wants to stay in their house for the rest of their lives. 80%+ believe they will be able to do so.

The American Dream has been around since the founding fathers. But in the 40s – formative years for the generation considering our communities – it came to mean home ownership.

Getting someone to give up their piece of the American Dream is just plain hard.

Society’s prejudice

Society itself is against us … As Dr. Bill Thomas ( explained in a conference I attended, society views the people who move to communities as losers.

The stigma can be nearly overpowering.

I saw this with my own mother.

She had decided to move to a full-service retirement community and had begun to excitedly tell her friends.

It is an understatement to say the majority were not enthusiastic, coming just shy of trying to change her mind.

Why did they react that way? I believe they were thinking: “If Carol needs to move there, I might need to move soon myself.”

Even well-meaning docs

Another example … a few months ago a large physicians’ association formally called for more support to enable seniors with more complex conditions to receive care at home.

“What could be wrong with that?” you ask.

But, consider: they made no mention of the negative impact of social isolation on health.

I contend social isolation is a leading cause of death of the over 80 set.

Home health agencies have proliferated and they all shout: “stay home. We can take care of you.”

Medical care has improved – a very good thing – though it does enable people with multiple chronic conditions to remain in their houses longer.

Like a casino, the house wins most of the time

The net impact: the house wins in the lion’s share of the cases and people delay their moves, arrive with more chronic conditions, stay for shorter periods, and are not able to take full advantage of the lifestyle.

The good news?

Only a small percentage of people move to senior housing and care communities so our world is fraught with opportunity.

Thank you,

Dan Rexford



7601 Lindbergh Dr
Gaithersburg, MD 20879

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