10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day between now and 2030, when, according to the U.S Census Bureau, seniors are expected to make up over 20% of the population. So how will this influx of seniors impact the future of senior living?
Today’s seniors don’t see retirement as a time to relax, but more as a time of a transition. A time to turn their attention to the joys of life … family, friends, hobbies, adventures. Increasingly, seniors want an enriching lifestyle that gives them the services and amenities to enjoy an engaging, entertaining life full of experiences.
One of the ways senior living is changing is that many communities are now calling themselves by a different name. For example, instead of referring to themselves as a “Continuing Care Retirement Community,” these communities now prefer the term “Life Plan Community.” Regardless of which term they use, today’s best communities emphasize the benefits of an engaging lifestyle and a full continuum of support services.
Future Trends in Senior Living
Communities adopt new programs, services and amenities to help seniors get more out of their retirement years.
- Specialized staff: Today, more communities are offering access to counselors, massage therapists, physiotherapists and psychiatrists.
- Personalized staff: Communities are hiring on-site geriatric care managers, gourmet chefs, nutritionists and personal trainers.
- Total well-being: Many communities are offering a variety of wellness programs to promote overall health, including education and lifelong learning programs. Exercise classes are led by an instructor or using technology. Classes are available on food and nutrition education and preparation and Intergenerational programs link youth and older adults.
- Senior-friendly tech: Laptops and smartphones featuring large buttons and displays for easier use are common on community campuses.
- PERS: Personal Emergency Response Service tools help keep residents safe.
- Telehealth: Residents can remotely access their entire care team (primary care physicians, home aides, or even family members and friends) without leaving home.
- Resident portals: Resident-only community website access allows you to utilize concierge services, contact residents and staff, and more easily plan your day.
- Voice Assistants: Communities are adding Amazon Echo (aka Alexa) and Google Home to help you remember your daily schedules, such as when to take medicine, or visit the doctor.
Future trends in senior living will be driven by artificial intelligence, which will be used to predict patterns in seniors’ behavior and prevent falls and other emergencies before they happen.
Changes in Care
Technology is shaping the future of senior living communities and how they engage residents, as well as how they monitor and prevent care emergencies.
- Virtual Reality (VR): Residents can reenact their favorite hobbies, like fishing, or use VR to have a peaceful, calming experience.
- Robotic Pets: Memory care residents hold and respond to soft, lifelike animals.
- Tracking Resident Activity: Community staff can follow a resident’s participation in different activities over time, so they can recognize patterns and sometimes discover important connections.
- Monitoring Devices: Communities are experimenting with wearable devices and motion detectors, smart mattresses, and even personal robots to keep track of sleep patterns, heart rates and location.
- Smart Pillboxes: These offer staff members a convenient way to remind residents to take their medications while controlling the dosage and timing.
Innovation matters to the future of senior living.
Senior living communities continue to adjust and adapt to meet the needs of today’s seniors. To find a senior living community offering the best fit for your lifestyle, you can research thousands of communities with our Where You Live Matters community finder.
Where You Live Matters is powered by the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), a respected voice in the senior housing industry. ASHA primarily focuses on legislative and regulatory advocacy, research, and educational opportunities and networking for senior living executives, so they can better understand the needs of older adults across the country.