Senior services, living communities expanding in The Woodlands area

As the senior population in The Woodlands increases, senior services, living facilities and amenities are expanding throughout the community to meet the demand.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 9,052 adults age 65 and older who lived in The Woodlands in 2010. In 2015, there was an estimated 20,861 adults age 65 and older who lived in The Woodlands area, according to The Woodlands Economic Development Partnership.

Existing senior service organizations have doubled their efforts in the past year. Allison Hulett, executive director of Meals on Wheels Montgomery County, said the organization currently serves weekday meals to 550 homebound and disabled seniors in the county. Program volunteers also provide transportation services for seniors.

Senior services, living communities expanding in The Woodlands area

“We provide well-balanced meals that are consistent nutrition, we provide a safety check and it’s also a social call,” Hulett said. “Over 50 percent of seniors live alone.”

Hulett said her goal is to keep expanding the Meals on Wheels program to meet the needs of more seniors in the area. With more donations and help from volunteers, Meals on Wheels would be able to contribute even more to its seniors in the area, she said.

“I’m looking to expand to get to 1,500 weekday meals,” Hulett said.

Staff members at Interfaith of The Woodlands—another organization that offers a variety of senior services—have also seen an increase in the need for these services. Some popular senior services the organization offers are transportation, activities, music and worship services.

Interfaith CEO Missy Herndon said she has especially noticed an increase in seniors in The Woodlands using the transportation program. To address the demand, Herndon has increased the number of rides available to seniors as well as added staff on hand for the popular program. The organization has given 1,032 rides so far this year and has 93 enrolled volunteer drivers in the program.

“Many seniors don’t have a car or can’t drive,” she said. “Over the past three to four years, we’ve seen tremendous growth in the senior transportation program.”

In addition, several senior housing communities have recently opened or are under construction to take advantage of the growing senior population.

Del Webb The Woodlands—an active adult retirement community— opened earlier this year in Magnolia. Assisted senior care facility Avanti Senior Living is also expanding in the area.

Avanti Senior Living CEO Lori Alford said the new facility will have a soft opening in Shenandoah in June.

“We’re not like other facilities around here,” Alford said. “It’s like walking into a hotel here. We’re a boutique-style senior living community.”

Alford said The Woodlands area has a lot to offer seniors, and with the expanding population there are many senior living communities to choose from.

“Right now, the market has a variety,” she said. “There is something for everyone here.”