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David Letterman retired this week as a late night TV talk show host after 33 years. At age 68, he is both a Senior Citizen and a Baby Boomer. And now he’s a Retired Senior Citizen and Baby Boomer.

Although he made plenty of jokes this past week about what he’s going to do in retirement (“five years from now, a nurse will be feeding me rice cereal”), I doubt that Letterman will just fade away.  Just like the thousands of other seniors in their 50s and 60s who are “retiring” this year.

I probably don’t have to tell you that the silver tsunami bearing down on us is forcing us to figure out how the Boomer generation wants to age and where they want to live. Not to mention how or where they want to get their healthcare services.

So, in the spirit of Letterman’s Top 10 list, here are the Top Ten Characteristics of the Boomer Generation that will influence the design of senior living communities and healthcare facilities:

10. They are way more knowledgeable about chronic disease, disease prevention, and wellness than their parents’ generation.

9.  Boomers want more involvement in their care.

8.  They are not as skeptical about complementary medicine.

7.  Boomers are playing harder and working longer.

6.  They are taking care of aging parents, who are living longer with chronic conditions.

5.  Boomers are responsible and self-reliant; they expect a lot of others.

4. They want to stay active and keep their mobility in old age.

3. Boomers are quick to adopt new technology.

2. They are sophisticated consumers who want things the way they want them.

1. Boomers don’t accept the status quo – never have and never will.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen.  Today’s Top 10 List. What would you add?

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Sara Marberry, EDAC, is a healthcare design knowledge expert, thought catalyst, and strategic marketing and business development consultant. The author/editor of three books, Sara writes and speaks frequently about industry trends and evidence-based design. She can be reached at sara@saramarberry.com.

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