Is There An Arms Race Between Senior Living Communities?

Is There An Arms Race Between Senior Living Communities?

By Charlie Bell – President, Premier Transitions


Is there an arms race between senior living communities?

As a provider of senior relocation services to communities throughout the US, I tour communities almost daily.  This by no means makes me an expert on senior living communities, but I think I see a trend.  That is, that new communities and more established communities as well are upping their game as it relates to new offerings, more options in dining experiences and significant upgrades in housing options and amenities.  This is very reminiscent of the athletic domain in the amateur and professional ranks where stadiums grow larger, entertainment options proliferate and jumbotrons become gargantutrons.  All great for the sport enthusiast or the senior living resident, but more and more challenging and expensive for both the sports franchises and the senior housing players.

What is driving this “arms” race?  I believe it is two key factors: 1. General competition: With the billions targeted for development of more senior living, it is not surprising that amenities and options would proliferate.  And while I won’t discuss in this article but in a later offering, I could make an argument that development may be racing towards a wall.

When developers/owner operators evaluate their target PMA, they determine how their proposed property can compete against the existing communities and what amenities they can and should offer.  Invariably, that means more and more options and amenities. 2. The soon to arrive boomers:  I would maintain that the baby boomers will want and expect more amenities, better amenities and an overall better living experience.  And many can and will be willing to pay for those additional amenities and finer finishes in their communities.

Summed up in one word: Competition.

Is this a good trend?  It probably depends on where you are sitting. But regardless, from my limited vantage point I see the “arms” race almost daily and I am impressed with the offerings. It will be interesting to see how new and existing communities embrace this trend.

I welcome your thoughts and perspectives.

Charlie Bell is the President of Premier Transitions.  Active in the relocation industry for over 30 years, Charlie brings a wealth of insight and experience to Premier’s clients and the Premier Team that supports their residents.  He can be reached 901-367-3027 or



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