Reinventing Retirement Living.
Isolation is a significant health risk. Loneliness is twice as harmful to physical and mental health as obesity, smoking and drunk driving. It poses a serious health danger and can even double the rate of dementia. According to research conducted by Brigham Young University, social isolation can increase a person’s risk of death by an astonishing 30%, particularly in older subjects. It’s no wonder that after years of delivering a cookie-cutter model, we can now expect major shifts in the pipeline in the senior housing market in 2020 and beyond.
Today’s target market for senior housing covers a substantial demographic. The number of households with people age 80 and over jumped 71% from 4.4 million in 1990 to 7.5 million in 2016, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. As older adults age, the number of households in this group will more than double by 2037. But the needs and priorities of this age group have evolved. Today’s seniors are migrating back to cities and denser suburbs for a more active lifestyle and readily available services. In response to this anticipated demand, disruptive entrants focused on delivering reimagined services have already entered the market. Communities of the past had predetermined designs and sizable deposits. But that won’t work for today’s demanding and savvy aging adult market who are favoring greater quality and control over their experiences. For a peek at this next-gen level of service, consider the new properties offered by The Embassies of Good Living, founded in Switzerland, and the NoHo Senior Arts Colony in California. Both offer premium services that promise to foster communal experiences – think fabulous architecture, on-demand services, personalized health programs, art galleries and movie theaters, all rounded out with cultural and political group discussions. It’s senior housing reinvented.
Based on our decades of experience delighting clients and serving this niche market, we’re keeping our finger on the pulse of the following three trends shaping the industry. On-demand services, the gig economy, new technologies and brand crossover appeal will continue to make these next-gen models even more viable in the years ahead.
Expect the tech revolution to make even greater inroads in the aging adult market. Technology’s promise of personalization, ease and convenience are speaking to both providers and consumers alike. The gig economy, which opts for short-term contracts, freelance work or side jobs, helps fill the void of providers looking to fill vacant positions. Ride-hailing and food delivery services are also playing well in this market. Senior housing providers are getting more strategic about trimming in-house dining and supplementing with delivery services. It’s the perfect fit for providers looking to minimize costs and consumers seeking convenience. On-demand services give providers an option to reconsider costs, including expensive dining costs, and reallocate those dollars. It’s no surprise that DoorDash and Uber Eats were listed among the top 10 fastest-growing brands among seniors, according to an analysis from Morning Consult.
Technology, like Alexa, Google Assistant and smart home services are becoming more and more relevant to serving older adults. Telehealth - video check-ins and health monitoring technology that shares medical information with health professionals - will also see a surge in popularity. This technology reduces the transportation barrier and unnecessary emergency room visits. Smartwatch technology can serve a dual purpose, being programmed as smart keys for residents as well as health monitors. OnePulse, a smart watch rolled out by AT&T in 2019, is equipped with both telehealth and remote patient-monitoring.
Savvy business professionals are taking note of the shifts in the senior market. With each passing year, we’re seeing a greater diversity of talent being attracted to the industry. Major organizational moves last year included former Equinox CEO and Kimpton Hotels President, Niki Leondakis, who assumed leadership of The Wolff Company’s senior living operations, and former White House Press Secretary and Starbuck’s President of US Retail, Kris Engskov, joined Aegis as president. Anticipate these facilities to view hospitality and service from a fresh new perspective. Tech giants, like Amazon, have also been seeking to make a splash in the senior health care space. Amazon has been promoting Amazon Business to senior living providers as a useful purchasing solution, allowing greater ease of ordering various products and supplies – and they’ve been teasing that there’s more to come from Amazon in the senior housing market in the upcoming months. Aging adults are demanding and expecting better services. We expect that they’ll start to favor housing that promises quality because of an association with another respected brand.
Senior housing options will continue to change in response to socioeconomic conditions - both consumers and providers will have to tighten budgets and get creative about planning for the future. Rising costs means that some families will consider aging in place, home care and multi-generational housing instead of other care options. For those who seek more traditional senior living, there are a wide range of options with expanded amenities. Seniors believe in engagement, enrichment experience and enjoyment – these are purposeful years. We’re entering an era of disruptive innovation and providers will need inventive new partnerships to help them meet the varying needs of this market.
With a project management team boasting over 95 years of combined experience, R-PCI Construction is a seasoned and reliable collaborator with a track record of exceeding client expectations. Whether you’re seeking to build spaces that promote wellness, or you’re looking to restructure your communities with cutting-edge technology and services, R-PCI can help you realize your vision for shaping the future of senior housing.