Adult Children, Assisted Living, and Designing Model Apartments

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Designing for Adult Children: Assisted Living Model Apartments

Although it has become more common for elderly people to make the decision to move into a senior living community on their own, many moves still involve the influence of adult children. Assisted living and continuing care providers reading this should know that Model55 designs apartments that tell stories of home for both adult children and their aging parents.

Post Overview

In this post we are going to give practical design tips for creating apartments that resonate with adult children looking for senior living communities to house their aging parents.  We will cover:

    • The adult child profile in 2020
    • Marketing to adult children in today’s climate
    • Designing adult children assisted living model apartments

Yes, Times Have Changed

Before diving into a typical market profile for the adult child in 2020, let’s be perfectly clear… times are changing to be sure. Still, there is a lot of talk out there about the industry being turned on its head. Of course, COVID has forever changed the landscape of senior housing, but we are not entirely convinced that much has changed about the adult child profile over the past few years.

The Adult Child Profile in 2020

According to market research, most adult children are female baby boomers between the ages of 53 to 75. These individuals are retired or are nearing the end of their careers and are thinking about the next phase in their life. Interestingly, many of the adult children researching assisted living communities for their parents may be considering 55+ or CCRCs for their own living situations.

Perhaps it is for this reason that the design and aesthetic for assisted living has been on a crash course with updated/ newer looks. Because adult children can see themselves as residents when they tour your community, it’s now more important than ever to design and market your communities with them in mind.

Marketing Assisted Living and CCRCs to Adult Children

Any and all marketing efforts you pursue should begin with the following questions:

(1) What am I marketing?

(2) Who am I marketing to? 

(3) What do they need that I have to offer?

In this situation of marketing to the adult child, you are looking to ease their top concerns about moving an elderly parent into an assisted living community. So, what are their top concerns? Market research is clear that after location and cost, adult children are concerned with their parents’ comfort and independence. The adult child shopping assisted living communities will look to reviews and online resources to gain a better picture of what their parents’ lives will be like if they choose your community. That is why it is paramount that your website must contain enticing imagery and testimonials, as well as easy ways to contact you!

If comfort and independence are among the top priorities for adult children when shopping for assisted living communities, it is paramount that you have plenty of images on your website that show how you model these qualities in your community. One effective way to do this is through a new model apartment or a model refresh.

Remember, that the adult child audience is now taking their findings more personally than ever before. Because most adult children are retired, or are soon-to-be retired, they are not only looking at your assisted living community for their parents, but also for themselves. Regardless of whether they have consciously acknowledged this fact, they are considering where and how they want to live in the next chapter of their lives. Below are a few design tips for creating model apartments that convey the right messaging to your adult children target audience.

Design Advice From Model55

Below are a few staples we keep in mind when designing models targeted towards adult children. 


In all of our research, we have yet to find anything that talks about the Boomer Generation as in denial of aging. If anything, Baby Boomers are aging with style and comfort. Their no muss, no fuss approach to life makes neutral, classic colors ideal for designing apartments and common spaces in your communities. Check out some of our favorite neutral tones below for inspiration:

Comfort and Function

These two elements are the most important aspect when it comes to selecting furnishings for your assisted living model apartments. Remember that boomers are looking for their parents, and on some level, themselves. They want to picture their aging parents living independently in comfort and cleanly peace. Be sure your model depicts a picture of this life!

Smaller Furnishings

In addition to comfort and function, you also want to be sure that your model looks clean, neutral, and modern. One way to do this is by not overstuffing the apartment with furniture that is meant for a larger home.  In a tight space this might mean substituting a loveseat for a sofa, or a full for a queen-sized bed.

Image from an assisted living studio designed, purchased, and installed by Model55.

Email for more small furniture design tips!!!

Clean Lines

When creating a model apartment design that appeals to both the parent and their adult child, assisted living providers should look for inspiration from contemporary designs with clean lines. We love the trending use of glass coffee tables that stand on geometric legs. Top it off with some in-vouge coffee table books and it’s the perfect look for the new senior style. Additional ways to incorporate clean lines into your design include:

        • Color blocks in your wall art, furniture, and soft goods.
        • Clean geometric patterns on area rugs and throw pillows.
        • Modern and contemporary furniture (bonus for neutral colors)

In addition to using furniture and décor to create a clean-lined, contemporary vibe in your assisted living model apartment, consider highlighting structural elements in your design as well. A lot of new senior housing developments are revamping old mill and industrial buildings. These types of apartments are perfect for using shape and structure to create a clean, fresh look! See the pictures below for inspiration!

That's a wrap

Hopefully you have read something here that has sparked your created juices and generated ideas for designing apartments that are attractive to adult children. Assisted living providers are facing so many challenges in the current climate, marketing to the right people in the right way should not be one of them! If you have questions about updating your models, common areas, guest suites, or respite retreats to align with the new style of senior living, reach out to us today on our website’s contact page or via email at


Amanda Beausoleil

Model55 purchases, designs and installs model apartments quickly and efficiently, reducing the cost and time of setting up your own model apartment.

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