More and more seniors are adopting technology into their lifestyles. Simply put, technology is inevitable in our industry—seniors are expecting services on demand.
Realizing its importance, Bob Ransford, VP Acquisitions and Investments and Brett Walsh, Director, Corporate Finance Partnerships share interesting technological learnings from the premier seniors housing investment conference held annually by The National Investment Centre for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) in United States.
Presented in a two-part series, we shed light on how the seniors housing industry is progressing based on trends found on Baby Boomers and how they interact with technology.
Remember it’s hard to excite someone about technology—you need to offer them something that meets their real needs and their desires.
One way of using technology is to delight and excite senior citizens in the community by building relationships long before someone has to make a housing decision. For example, technology can act as the pipeline of seniors’ housing operators into the community. A seniors’ residence can become the “trusted provider” in the minds of citizens in the community by giving advice and sharing their expertise before they move in.
One example of such a service a seniors’ residence could offer to the general public in the wider community, especially seniors, is an online referral directory where someone looking for a trusted service provider could turn. Perhaps an elderly person is looking for a reliable and experienced carpenter to install mobility assistance devices in their home. They could log into the directory of qualified and recommended service providers maintained by the local seniors’ residence and find that service provider.
Now, let’s look into how baby boomers perceive technology so we can provide better service for our senior residents.
6 THINGS TO LEARN ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AND SENIORS
- Technology will not only be important in providing existing service offerings but will change the paradigm of that service offering and we as an industry must adjust to stay relevant.
- Longevity will be extended for seniors with more wealth in this generation who can afford access to medical science and technology. The natural trend in life span longevity has seen about 3 years added to the average life span each decade. That trend line will accelerate with medical science.
- If you simply use technology to do better what you’re already doing or to supply something you already supply, then you are falling short.
- Technology is the pipeline of seniors’ housing operators into the community. A seniors’ residence can become the “trusted provider” in the minds of citizens in the community long before they move into the residence by giving advice and sharing their expertise and they can do so using technology and delighting and exciting consumers. Build relationships long before someone has to make a housing decision.
- Remember that Baby Boomers are the anti-social engagement people who gave us the ‘bowling alone’ analogy. They do not understand the benefits of social engagement in a congregate environment or a ‘community’ when they are not really interested in social connections in the same way their parents were.
- Baby Boomers want ‘life on demand’—they want to have it all and own none of it. Health care will be on-demand when they need it.
Learn more about the Bria Lifestyle at The Wexford, our newest community for seniors.