When you think of senior living communities, you may picture the stereotypical nursing homes with the elderly in hospital beds and drab dayrooms where residents watch TV.
However, senior living is a much more vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle than ever before. Seniors are moving into retirement living communities earlier in age and enjoying the abundance of amenities and offerings that most provide, in an environment surrounded by active friends with similar interests.
As in other verticals, providers must keep up with their prospects and residents in order to be relevant and profitable. Age is not the only demographic shifting in senior living and communities are quickly adapting to meet these needs. Below are three areas of senior living that are rapidly changing.
As the political front has rapidly changed over the past decade, more and more minority demographics have access to senior living housing than ever before. According to the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities, more women comprise the Assisted Living landscape than men as well as a rising Hispanic population. Communities’ marketing strategies have pivoted quickly to appeal to both women looking for senior living on their own as well as creating a more inclusive environment for those who don’t fit the age old standard of a senior living community resident.
Today’s seniors are more involved in their communities than ever. They are taking classes at local universities, volunteering with children and taking part in a wealth of other activities that connect them with like-minded residents, continuing to be incredibly valuable in and around their communities. Family structures have changed, leaving many senior couples without adult children to help with their care, encouraging them to seek more involved, independent lives earlier on in their retirement. Offering a wide variety of amenities, services and programs is one of the main factors that drives prospects to choose a community. As life expectancy has grown, so has the education level of seniors. Continuing to stimulate their minds and bodies is a large part of their decision when choosing a senior living community.
In 2018, seniors are more digitally connected than ever. According to Pew Research Center, Smartphone ownership and use has more than doubled in the last five years, with a 24% increase by seniors. As this trend has continued, senior living communities have shifted their advertising and marketing strategies to focus on digital strategies such as online ads, SEM, SEO and marketing automation. More and more seniors and their families are looking online for resources connected to senior living and a customized web experience tailored to their personal decision-making process. Traditional advertising and marketing are still important, but as today’s seniors become more and more tech-savvy, senior living communities must personalize their online strategies to answer the questions and expectations of prospects.
As the population landscape and demographics of senior living continue to change, communities are constantly re-evaluating their marketing and communication strategies, driven to meet the evolving needs of seniors and their families.