This is a resident subject that is often talked about but so easily forgotten – but it is really important to understand.
Up until now most of the people joining retirement villages come from the Veterans generation – people who were born before 1945.
As you will have experienced, they are really solid citizens. They were hard-working, respect authority, loyal team players who don’t let others down, and thrifty. Market researchers say they ‘built the nation’, from the Snowy Mountain Scheme to our highways and cities.
Veterans don’t like to complain; they are likely to grin and bare situations.
But now we’re seeing the first Baby Boomers, which are a totally different breed people – and moving in as residents in your villages.
Baby Boomers were born between 1945 and 1965. The first Baby Boomers officially retired in 2010 and are now aged 74.
You will have read many times that Baby Boomers can change the world – and they don’t intend slowing down because they’ve joined a retirement village.
Things to think about
Have you ever stopped to consider how these differences may impact your operational activities?
Baby Boomers having a characteristic that blurs the line between life and work. They are accustomed to supermarkets being open until midnight. They may expect the same from you.
It will be paramount as a Village Manager that you are able to set, reinforce and abide by expectations that clearly set the situations and times that you will be available afterhours.
Where the Veteran generation were happy to have one rule for all the Baby Boomer will challenge the status quo and potentially be seeking a rule applicable for themselves individually.
As a Village Manager it will be vital that you are quick to set expectations upfront when new residents move into the village and then reinforce these standards often to ensure that it is clear how the community operates.
There will be challenges in meeting the needs of both generations. For instance the Baby Boomer is likely to want the ability to submit maintenance requests via an app or online.
However existing Veteran resident may not have the technology or desire to learn a new way and therefore leaving you as the Village Manager the job of creating a win win process to meet both sets of expectations.
As a Village Manager it will be important to take time out to consider how operationally you will meet the expectations of both parties. The danger is loud Baby Boomers will swamp the preferred operations of the Veterans – and you as village manager!
Be aware, but not afraid!