Several new senior living developments are opening in Cy-Fair to meet demands for the growing senior population. Cy-Fair’s 55-and-older population grew by more than 21,200 residents from 2015-20, and this age group now makes up about 21% of the community’s overall population, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 5-year American Community Survey estimates.

As local residents age, the need for independent-living, assisted-living, memory care and nursing home options grows. However, experts said they believe this generation wants to remain in their own homes as long as possible.

“We always say that the biggest competitor honestly is their existing home,” said Jennifer Symons, vice president of marketing for Caldwell Cos., which has developed various senior living options in Towne Lake. “You [have] got to give people a compelling reason to want to move. So in today’s market, people are looking for those amenities and ... what’s really going to make it different than the home that they’re in.”

Several new 55-plus residential options in Cy-Fair offer resort-style amenities such as movie theaters, pools with swim-up bars, hair salons, yoga studios, libraries, game rooms, and arts and crafts studios, to attract residents and keep them engaged.

Additionally, seniors who continue to live at home can find support through local organizations, such as Jersey Village Senior Outreach, which provides social connection, wellness programming and in-home assistance such as transportation, minor household repairs and computer issues.

“I think most people want to stay in their homes. ... You always want to stay [in] what’s comfortable, especially if you start ... getting the fear of the unknown. And going into an apartment kind of living is scary for some of them because it’s all new and strange,” said Kathleen Koenig, Jersey Village Senior Outreach community liaison.

A growing community

While Cy-Fair’s total population grew by about 14.1% from 2015-20, the 55-plus population grew by 28.7% in that time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. ZIP codes 77065 and 77095—which are located on either side of Hwy. 290 near the FM 1960/Hwy. 6 area—have seen the largest percentage growth in their senior populations during this time frame.

However, most of the community’s senior living facilities are located to the north or south of these ZIP codes.

Caldwell Cos., a prominent developer in the Cypress area, is opening active-adult community Cadence Creek at Towne Lake next summer as another residential option for seniors. The community will be open to those age 55 and older, offering amenities to encourage residents to remain active.

Todd Johnson, president of Caldwell’s multifamily housing division, said he has noticed a shift toward active living. For instance, local seniors may be looking to downsize from a single-

family home without requiring assisted-living or memory care services.

“We’re definitely seeing a more active pocket within this demographic, which does lead to a change in the services that are required,” Johnson said. “And then that really helps to aid in that aging in place spectrum; the technology that’s available today really allows a person to stay in place a lot longer than previously thought.”

A new facility in the Copperfield area, StoneCreek of Copperfield, is slated to open in December with a range of options for residents requiring more care, including independent-living villas, assisted-care apartments and memory care apartments.

Executive Director Brooke Shelby said the facility’s management company chose to open in Copperfield to help meet the demands of the growing senior population.

“We have different communities like Copperfield Estates and Park Creek—those are options in the area, and we all can offer something different,” Shelby said. “There [are] so many seniors. We need to all work together, and we have been, and I think that’s what I love about Cy-Fair is that all our communities are very [collaborative].”

Active-living focus

Local government entities and organizations help seniors stay active in their communities. Harris County Precinct 3, for example, offers programs and activities for seniors to go out and interact with neighbors and promote active aging, which officials said can protect their physical and cognitive abilities.

“Depression and isolation are a big factor to our well-being as we grow older,” Precinct 3 Communications Manager Jeannie Peng said. “Keeping the focus on socialization and exercising the brain and body helps combat many illnesses that plague our senior community and allows them to thrive.”

The precinct, which encompasses much of Cy-Fair and other areas of north Harris County, features seven community centers offering art classes, sewing and quilting classes, cognitive activities, yoga, pickleball, aerobics, archery, guitar, Spanish classes, dances, luncheons and other activities seniors can participate in to learn new skills.

Koenig said offering support programs is important for seniors, especially those who are homebound or live alone. To accommodate those at home, JVSO offers two of its programs over Zoom, a pandemic-driven change the organization decided to maintain. The group also has volunteers who pick up nondriving seniors to help them attend meetings and events with their peers.

“The core of our mission is to help with positive aging, and I think there’s been plenty of studies about positive aging,” Koenig said. “And so often, people get housebound, and then they get secluded, and so being able to offer the support helps them because so many of them—their children have moved away, or their spouse has passed away, and they don’t have anybody.”

Active living is also highlighted in local retiree communities. Arella on Jones is an independent-living facility that opened in late 2021 with luxury amenities and activities promoting social interaction.

“I think we kind of tried to look at it as creating as many spaces as possible to keep a resident engaged at the property throughout their day and try to look at what kind of programs are available for them if they went to a resort or they got on a cruise ship and what kind of activities or spaces would they see,” Adara Communities Vice President Brent Bunger said.

Shifting services

For local developers, increased senior activity means a change in products offered. For example, The Heritage at Towne Lake has offered seniors age 55 and older single-family homes maintained by the local homeowners association since 2017.

“So independent living is a step up on certain aspects of the service spectrum,” Johnson said. “What we’re catering towards is an active adult that is still vibrant in their life, and they’re ready to engage socially and live. It needs to make them feel at home but give them the freedom to do the things that they’ve always wanted to do.”

Symons said active-adult communities, such as The Heritage at Towne Lake, allow residents a lock-and-leave, lower-maintenance lifestyle among fellow retirees in single-family homes.

StoneCreek of Copperfield is an option for those who may need more involved care. The continuing care retirement community allows residents to age in place and enjoy amenities comparable to those offered at Arella and Cadence Creek—communities that do not offer on-site health care and meal plans, officials said.

From age-restricted apartments for seniors hoping to downsize and enjoy retirement to those requiring full-time care, Cy-Fair offers a range of senior living options to meet different needs.

“I think new senior communities have higher standards, and senior living is different now. We’re in more of a hospitality field than we used to be,” Shelby said.