As America’s baby boom generation ages, senior living specialists need to know how to meet their needs.

The place to start is amenities, particularly those involving the social aspects of life at senior communities. No detail is too minor. For instance, a community garden will be a lot more successful if it's shaded from the sun.

While parking has a place, provided transportation, such as service buses, is also vital to help residents move around. But there’s no substitute for being near retail, particularly grocery stores. As in other sectors of real estate, location is crucial for seniors. So are accessibility, affordability, and walking trails.

But one thing seniors developers and owners need to forget is the term "aging in place." Instead, says Manny Gonzalez, principal, KTGY, residents want to thrive in place. “It’s all about total wellness,” he says. “You want to sell that, not 'aging' in place.”