By 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 20 percent of the population will be 65 and older. With continued medical breakthroughs and technological advances, it’s likely those seniors will be significantly healthier than any seniors before them. And that means the face of retirement communities and nursing homes will probably be entirely different.
Moving away from elder-care homes can only be a good thing, since facilities like these for aging loved ones so often feel depressing, lonely and costly—in 2012, a private room in an assisted care facility cost on average $248 a day. A less expensive, more liberating shift is already underfoot, as a trending number of seniors are taking their retirement money, selling off or giving away many of their assets, and investing in tiny homes.
The downsize frees up cash for travel, modest off-grid living, and house calls for healthcare or assisted living and ensures people don’t get “stuck” as they age. By designing their own homes, seniors can make sure doorways can fit wheelchairs or living spaces are carpet-free to prevent trip hazards. And the home healthcare renaissance means autonomous living for longer—doing away (almost entirely) with the depressing hallways and dining rooms of old folks' homes. Offering up their services for the 65-and-older crowd are tiny home companies nationwide that allow individuals to select the perfect houses for any lifestyle—whether as a cross-country adventurer, backwoods homesteader, or suburban lot owner seeking a simpler way of life.