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Luxury Assisted Living: 5 Ways Senior Communities Are Elevating Themselves

11 minute readLast updated June 6, 2022
Written by Chacour Koop
Reviewed by Rachel Levy, BSW, MPH, senior living expertRachel Levy, BSW, MPH, and a senior national account manager at A Place for Mom, has worked in senior care for more than 20 years.
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Luxury senior living is redefining the way we think about senior care by offering premier amenities and exceptional services. With a heightened focus on convenience and comfort, and a higher price tag to match, these communities often resemble deluxe-condo developments or five-star resorts.

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You don’t need to move to Florida or another retirement destination for your own slice of senior living luxury. High-end assisted living communities and luxury nursing homes are opening across the United States as developers meet the demand for a higher standard of senior housing. These high-end, senior living communities take the baseline assisted living benefits and elevate them to a luxury, more personalized standard.

“Similar to the hotel industry that has myriad brands and service offerings, the senior housing industry is maturing in a similar way and becoming differentiated by service offerings and price point,” says Beth Burnham Mace, chief economist and director of outreach at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC).

Where can you find luxury senior living?

Many luxury senior living communities are located in urban areas, where consumers and residents usually have higher incomes to afford the higher price, Mace says. And in some states, the affordable assisted living market makes luxury amenities and services available to more seniors.

“Also, land tends to be more expensive due to the competing nature of a limited resource, which may make an opportunity in a less dense, less urban area less attractive,” Mace says.

Take the joint venture between luxury real estate developer Related Companies and Atria Senior Living, one of the largest U.S. operators. They recently created the luxury senior living brand Coterie, which so far includes Coterie Cathedral Hill in San Francisco and Coterie Hudson Yards in New York. Additionally, Related and Atria have plans for two more upscale senior living developments in Silicon Valley.

Luxury senior living communities aren’t just coastal — you can also find upscale assisted living and high-end nursing homes in large metropolitan areas throughout the U.S.

“There is a level of convenience, community, and culture that can only be enjoyed in cities — regardless of one’s age,” Bryan Cho, executive vice president of Related Companies, said in a statement announcing the new brand. “Coterie is Related and Atria’s innovative solution for adults who desire the best of urban living and wellness in spaces that achieve effortless elegance.”

As high-end senior housing developments emerge in major cities, A Place for Mom has added New York– and Chicago-based Senior Living Concierge Advisors who are focused on helping families and supporting luxury communities in their regions.

What is luxury senior living?

Luxury senior living is a higher-caliber care experience for older adults. Features typically include refined architecture and living spaces, convenient locations near attractions, distinctive services, deluxe amenities, and fine dining.

The median monthly cost of assisted living in the U.S. was $4,500 in 2021, according to a cost of care survey from Genworth, an insurance company with a focus on long-term care. The cost of luxury senior living will exceed this price point.

For instance, the monthly rate for a studio apartment at the ultra-luxurious Coterie Hudson Yards starts at $12,500, while a one-bedroom begins at $17,100, and a two-bedroom exceeds $28,000 per month.

However, the cost of luxury senior living can vary widely even within similar geographic areas, depending on service offerings and amenities. Many one-bedroom luxury senior living apartments in New York range between $10,000 and $12,000. Furthermore, the cost of senior living differs significantly from one geographic area to the next.

Refined architecture

Previously a historic hotel, The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights in Brooklyn exemplifies refined architecture in luxury senior living. While restoring signature features of the building’s 1920s design, developers transformed the property into an independent livingassisted living, and memory care community. Montroy DeMarco Architecture LLP, the architect and design firm behind the project, noted the community was not to have a single “institutional” detail.

“Watermark insists on an at-home feel that at the same time is luxurious,” a representative from Montroy DeMarco Architecture wrote in an online description of the project.

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Similarly, the developers of MorningStar at Arcadia reimagined an incomplete upscale condo project as luxury senior living in Phoenix. They reshaped an abandoned concrete structure into luxury independent senior living, assisted living, and memory care, Thoma-Holec Design, LLC wrote in a 2014 blog post.

“The design team wanted the community to convey a sense of urban modernity yet remain residential in appearance,” Thoma-Holec Design wrote. “They demanded a unique offering of amenities reminiscent of a luxurious resort appropriate to the historic Biltmore and Arcadia markets.”

For luxury senior living in DallasVentana by Buckner bucks the idea that comprehensive senior care can’t feel contemporary with its sleek glass exterior and high-rise sky lounge. As a continuing care retirement community, it includes rehabilitation services, memory care, an upscale nursing home space, luxury senior independent living, and luxury assisted living in Dallas.

Convenient location

The Village at The Triangle is a destination for luxury senior living in Austin, Texas, where residents can easily access shopping and dining right outside their front door. Plus, several hospitals and a rehabilitation center are less than two miles away.

As part of a trendy mixed-use development with commercial and residential real estate, the community is a prime example of luxury senior living communities emerging in highly convenient locations.

Mixed-used developments are a well-known real estate concept, but incorporating senior housing within them is a newer trend, according to a 2019 blog post for the NIC written by Andrew Lavinder, the then-vice president of real estate at MidCap Financial Services, LLC.

“(Seniors) are eager to be closer to the action where they have more opportunities for engaging social and cultural experiences as well as better access to health care,” Lavinder wrote.

Distinctive services

Luxury assisted living communities set themselves apart with exceptional services. They go above and beyond helping with activities of daily living or coordinating health care.

For instance, Sunrise at University Park, an option for luxury senior living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, connects relatives with their loved ones through technology. With a family engagement app, users can view photos of their parent painting during an art class or snuggling with the community dog.

The app also helps residents with reminiscence therapy. Seniors can share life stories with caregivers, who enter them into the app. Families can also share their memories to craft a recorded life story.

Just down the road in Colorado Springs, the community of MacKenzie Place offers its own private travel agency. Whether residents want to take a group trip, travel to see family, or plan a staycation, they can have a personal travel coordinator handle the details.

Deluxe amenities

Luxury senior living usually offers resort-style amenities. These might include a high-end lounge bar with happy hours, sleek indoor lap swimming pools, boutique-style movie theaters, or beauty salons with an array of spa services.

Vi at The Glen, a luxury continuing care retirement community in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, Illinois, features a salt-filtered pool and a therapeutic whirlpool where residents can join aqua finesses classes. Not a fan of the water? Take a stroll through the community’s beautifully maintained English garden or play golf on the 5,000-square-foot putting green.

In fact, manicured green spaces are an important part of some luxury senior living communities. A spacious courtyard with elegant water features and shady trees is like an oasis for residents of Oakmont of the Lakes, a luxury senior living community in Las Vegas. Plus, the community has scenic mountain views.

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Meanwhile, The Tradition-Woodway, a high-rise for luxury senior living near Houston, sets itself apart with stately amenities, including a regal library and a classy lounge with billiards.

Fine dining

Luxury senior living serves cuisine from top chefs and gives residents several dining options. Often, residents savor daily specials or order from an expansive menu of prepared-to-order dishes.

At Atria West 86 in New York City, residents can choose from three dining venues, including rooftop seating with a skyline view. Alternatively, they can relax in the comfort of their home with room service. Chefs prepare locally inspired dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Coterie Cathedral Hill partners with artisans local to the San Francisco area for unique goods, including a specialty coffee roasted on-site. Dining options include a fine dining restaurant, a casual grill, and a lounge with hors d’oeuvre and wine pairings.

How to find luxury assisted living

A luxury senior home means something different to everyone. For some, the deluxe amenities or sleek architecture are top priorities. Others may find luxury in personal touches or above-and-beyond services. For many, the dining experience is a key factor — and who can blame them?

For help finding luxury assisted living to fit your expectations, A Place for Mom provides a consultation service. In addition to the Senior Living Concierge Advisors based in New York and Chicago, our network includes hundreds of local experts to assist with advice and planning throughout the process.

What families are saying about assisted living facilities

Assisted living reviews from residents and families

Sunrise of Dublin

5.0
Love Sunrise, everyone is warm and welcoming and fun. Being here is like a warm hug. Mom is well taken car of. Love it so much!

The Terraces at Lawrence

5.0
all staff is very kind, caring, friendly - feels like family

Sources:

Mace, B. (2022, April 27). Personal communication [Email].

Related Companies. (2021, Nov. 16). Related Companies and Atria Senior Living debut new class of luxury senior living with the launch of Coterie.

Welltower Inc. (2022, March 6). Related Companies in Conjunction with Atria Senior Living and Welltower Close on Strategic Partnership for two Silicon Valley Developments in Santa Clara and Cupertino. Cision PR Newswire.

Genworth. (2022, February). Cost of Care Survey.

Montroy DeMarco Architecture LLP. The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights.

Thoma-Holec Design, LLC. (2014, March 30). 8 Trends in Senior Housing.

Lavinder, A. (2019, Aug. 1). Mixed-use Developments in Senior Housing. The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

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Meet the Author
Chacour Koop

Chacour Koop is a former copywriter at A Place for Mom, where he published articles focused on Medicare, Medicaid, dementia, and wellness with a hope that other families can use the information to improve their lives. As a former family caregiver, Chacour Koop strives to bring practical knowledge about senior care to readers who are navigating this complex topic. Before writing about senior living, he was a journalist with bylines in The Associated Press, Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, and dozens of other publications. He earned a degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield.

Edited by

Danny Szlauderbach

Reviewed by

Rachel Levy, BSW, MPH, senior living expert

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