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80 percent of seniors have strong desire to age in place. Developer Peter Burns is helping facilite this move.
By Holt Hackney for The National Business Post
August 14, 2020
Long before the first COVID-19 case was reported in the United States, a movement was taking hold when it comes to eldercare.
Aging adults and their families started looking for ways to age in their own homes, instead of moving on to an assisted living facility or a care home.
Two years ago, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) validated the trend in its Home and Community Preferences Survey. Among the findings: close to 80 percent of adults age 50 and older want to remain in their communities and/or homes as they age and have the resources to do so.
Specifically, the report noted that “people spend years making connections and commitments to homes, friendships, community organizations, and local social ties within their community,” and that these “communities become a source of support and engagement for residents, particularly older adults who have an even stronger desire to age in place.”
You’ll get no argument from Dr. Debi Lynes, a noted expert on the topic, whose Aging in Place podcast has garnered national recognition.
“The notion of how to age in the right place has been on the mind of older adults even before the pandemic,” said Dr. Lynes. “COVID-19 has sped up the process. Aging adults, who are 77 million strong to date and make up 28 percent of the US population want to continue living at home or at least in a familiar environment as they age. They express wanting to live safely, as independently as possible, and comfortably regardless of their age or ability level.”
Dr. Lynes anticipates a hybrid model emerging from this dynamic, the idea for which came from a recent guest she had on the show – Peter J. Burns III.
Burns has pioneered the concept of creating luxury boutique care homes for seniors in the community in which they live. Typically, Burns and his investors buy traditional homes, then has them remodeled so they can accommodate aging adults. Unlike “group homes,” Burns’ “care homes” are more modern, offer more space to its residents and afford more privacy. Today, Burns has a half-dozen houses in the Sun City area of Phoenix, which provide both luxury and familiarity to seniors.
Burns delivers the boutique care homes in proximity to the would-be residents by utilizing a federal law that protects the elderly from being discriminated against when it comes to housing – the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA prevents entities, such as homeowners’ associations, from blocking the operation of care homes for aging adults, who are considered disabled for purposes of the law.
The benefits of installing remodeled care homes in the communities in which the elderly live are clear – family members can more easily visit them, while residents can visit the parks and libraries they have grown so accustomed to.
Burns delivers luxury on top of that proximity with the help of partner Tim Hurst, who has 40 years of experience in the residential construction industry and has developed substantial expertise in remodeling existing homes into care homes for aging adults.
“All the boutique group homes will be refurbished to meet regulations and guidelines, all while incorporating luxury upgrades to provide residents with space and the peaceful surroundings they deserve during their later years,” said Burns.
Burns acquired all his homes in 2019. That was before COVID-19. Fortunately, he was able to delay the grand openings and focus instead on how to best implement the safety protocols that would give the future residents and their families comfort.
Peter Burns portrait
Peter Burns
“One of the best decisions I ever made,” said Burns, a serial entrepreneur, who has helped create over 100 successful businesses in his career. “Now, we, along with our investors who have come to us through Burns Funding, are ideally positioned in the marketplace. We have no track record of previous COVID-19 cases and are able to embrace state of the art safety precautions to protect not only our residents, but our staff.”
Finally, Burns believes aging adults are ready for his boutique care home concept, citing the aforementioned AARP survey, which also found that nearly one-third of adults age 50 and older would be willing to consider alternatives such as home sharing (32 percent) and building an accessory dwelling unit (31 percent).
“Aging adults are looking for three things in a care home,” said Burns. “They want to be near their community, have the kind of privacy they are used to, and be safe from infectious diseases, like COVID-19. We’re prepared to deliver on all those needs.”
Dr. Lynes agrees.
“Peter has recognized that as the baby boomers get older, their desire is to age in place,” said Dr. Lynes. “Peter has given them a way to do that.”
Copyright © 2020. The National Business Post. All rights reserved.
Holt Hackney is a journalist and publisher from Austin, TX where he owns and operates Hackney Publications, a legal publishing company. His generational writing roots run deep – his father, a former publisher, and his brothers are journalism graduates from the University of Florida. Today, Holt continues to explore the greenbelt enjoying the palpable creative energy that is Austin.