Recently, an article about improving senior care through technology showcased some of the most exciting products entering the market. Safe appliances, fall preventatives, health monitoring, and even smart toilets will be instrumental in improving daily life for many seniors. These tools will make houses safer, and extend the time loved ones can stay in their own homes. However, as members of the senior living industry, the lens is a little different. These technological advances will change how potential patients view and need senior care in the future. Senior living marketing strategies will have to adjust alongside.
Same Old Safety Story
Generally, patients come to assisted living and long-term care because it is no longer safe for them to stay in their homes. Many times family members aren’t geographically close to help with care, or cannot expend the time or resources needed to keep their loved ones at home. Senior care has always used the safety of patients as a flagship message when addressing services, and enticing new residents. As technology advances to a point, where seniors can stay in their homes safely and affordably – for much longer periods – senior and assisted living communities will need to rethink their purpose.
The New Message: A Social Place
In this new world of technology, face-to-face interactions have reduced dramatically. However, these interactions are one of the keys to longevity and happiness. Children and relatives will still be geographically distant, or too busy for day-to-day care or visits. Just because homes become safer, doesn’t mean the outside world won’t still be full of perils. Being socially active as a senior will still be challenging even as technology advances.
Senior living facilities should embrace the theme of vibrancy and activity, and use marketing to show seniors and their families the lives they could and should be living. The new messages for senior care communities should offer a solution to loneliness, isolation, and boredom.
Message and Delivery Has To Match
In order for senior care facilities to embrace this new messaging, it needs to be true. Residents, especially Boomers, are not going to stay and pay for subpar amenities and social opportunities. They will demand that the message match the delivery. Senior living marketing teams will need to work with clients or within their facility to ensure that the residents are getting the experience promised. Facilities will need to invest in programs and activities that encourage interactions among residents. Patients and family members alike will expect a more holistic environment with updated and modern amenities.
The technology integration into homes may be slow, but it will happen. Smart senior living facilities will start planning and budgeting for large renovations and continual décor and program updates now. Maintaining a great outward appearance and growing social programs internally should be an integral part of the strategic plan. It will help in attracting residents in the short-term and will put facilities ahead of the game when the market shift occurs. Dated facilities lacking engagement opportunities will not have a place in the future senior living market.
Because if residents aren’t paying for safety, what are they paying for?