Retiring from college at age 65? Some are coming to new ‘senior’ universities -Dlight News

 Retiring from college at age 65?  Some are coming to new 'senior' universities

Purdue University is the latest school to see new growth in an older population. The West Lafayette, Ind., university, as well as two foundations, have partnered with development company McNair Living’s Varsity brand to create a residential development aimed at 65- to 85-year-old alumni and community members. Purdue Development’s new Varsity, which will break ground in December or January, will be the latest university housing project to target older adults among about 75 similar communities in 30 states. The move will connect the university’s facilities and student population with the wallets and activity desires of older adults. “Zero people in the history of humanity have had the life goal of living in a senior living center. “Retiring like this is not the goal of anyone’s life,” said Les Stretch, managing principal and chief operating officer of McNair Living. “Senior living is out. Intergenerational is in.” Read: As these people take a ‘gap year’ after a successful career, once they contemplate retirement, universities are grappling with declining enrollment, which has declined by nearly 10% from 2012 to 2022, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Schools often boast land for growth and enviable programming to attract their rich rosters of alumni and fans who want to return to their college glory days. Attracting deep-pocketed alumni to live on campus can also help with fundraising. Older adults, meanwhile, want to stay active, continue to learn and interact—making bustling college campuses a draw. “Sitting in a rocking chair, watching the sun go up and down is a terrible retirement,” said Andrew Carl, senior living administration instructor at Georgetown University and president of Carl Consulting LLC. “Boomers want to be active. They want to be intellectually stimulated. They want to be intergenerational, highly educated. Read: Baby boomers, now outnumbered by millennials, see a shift in generational power “Get rid of the aging island. Don’t segregate people because they’ve reached a certain age,” said Carl, who coined the term ‘university-based retirement community’ more than a decade ago. “Being around young people makes you feel young. All these memories are there – you feel young coming back there.” Varsity at Purdue will issue student IDs to all residents to access university facilities and audit lectures free of charge, as well as offer a mix of residential spaces, from villas and townhomes to apartments, with ground-floor facilities available for rent to the public. McNair Living declined to disclose prices. It is designed for interaction with students, faculty and the larger community, with space for an early childhood education center, pickleball court, coffee house, wood-fired pizza restaurant and green space. “We want to integrate it with the university and not have it on the edge of the city. Isolation is the main reason people start to fade and have health problems,” Stretch said. “We want to build where youth and life already exist.” “In the past, people used real estate to separate people by age or ability. was made to separate. They’ll put up a shingle and say, ‘People love it here,'” Stretch said. “We asked, ‘How can we bring really smart, creative people together?’ You can’t force friendships but you can creatively develop and design real estate so that friendships can be formed by increasing people’s contact time. You can create these great moments.” The project represents the university’s latest effort to develop the Discovery Park District at Purdue, a 400-acre, mixed-use development on the edge of campus. McNair Living has about 8 to 10 more university projects in its development pipeline. The Purdue project will open a waiting list in 2024. “The process is long and difficult. We don’t want to rush the process,” Stretch said. The varsity at Purdue development will also serve as a teaching tool for students, including interior design students who are working on the project now and future residents for pharmacy, nursing, speech pathology and physical therapy students. “We want to get students involved so it’s not just ‘where the old people live,'” Stretch said. Karl said the Purdue project follows other good examples of well-integrated, intergenerational development at universities such as Mirabella at ASU, which opened in 2020, and Broadview at Purchase College, which opens on the campus of the State University of New York later this year. . “This development will provide important opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to work with, learn from, and possibly live with older adults,” said Marian Underwood, dean of the Purdue College of Health and Human Sciences and distinguished professor of psychological sciences. (Of course, not every interaction between college students and retirees is positive. Mirabella at ASU, for example, and some residents sued a nearby local music venue in 2021 over noise complaints.) While the varsity at Purdue will charge rent, various schools have other financing. Models, such as Broadview at Purchase, have buy-in fees that start at $250,000 and exceed $1 million, as well as monthly fees. The university at Purdue will also provide all care services as appropriate, Stretch said. They range from wellness and nutrition to assisted-living and memory care-type services. It will not have skilled nursing or acute care services. If residents need the skilled nursing care found in a nursing home, these models of end-of-life care may lack something, Karl said. “The million-dollar question is care. You need skilled nursing. How do you tell them they’ve been here and now they have to go back to a nursing home. If they’re smart, they’ll get people with strong referral relationships with quality facilities nearby. Should be able to show up,” Carl said.

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