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Tech Use by Seniors & Why It Should Matter to Property Owners/ManagersJanuary 8, 2020
Are you taking advantage of the 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every single day? 20% are renting and 5% are living it up in communities. The multi-family marketplace for seniors (people over 55) is currently thriving with a 43% increase in renters over 60 in the past decade! Is your senior living community providing The Connected Life ExperienceTM that will attract them? Is technology as important to seniors as it is to younger generations? Take a look and decide for yourself.
How Are Seniors Using Technology?
From maintaining contact with family and friends and working remotely to shopping online and binge-watching there are a myriad of technologies available to create connected life experiences if you have a network to connect them to.
Keeping in Touch
Social connection is key to a happy life. Baby boomers are big fans of keeping in touch through email and video communications software (Skype or FaceTime). In fact, it may come as a bit of a surprise that 90% of baby boomers are on Facebook, however this demographic utilizes text and social media platforms to keep tabs on younger family members and reconnect with old friends.
Unless you have been living under a rock, then you already know that the main sources of in-home entertainment have evolved away from traditional, linear television programming into on-demand content delivery over the Internet. Let’s face it, who isn’t streaming TV and movies from the comfort of their homes today? The senior demographic is no exception to this trend, as three in five Americans over the age of 50 (61%) stream their TV content; a 27% increase in just the last two years and more than a quarter no longer have a traditional pay-TV service.
Instead of taking early retirement, the tide has turned, and baby boomers are working later in life. 24% of men and 16% of women over the age of 55 were still working in 2018. This statistic is projected to continue to rise to 26% of men and 18% of women by 2026. It is important to note that, much like the rest of the workforce, seniors are working from home at least some of the time. 95% of boomers in the workforce currently use their company’s remote work policy.
The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution is steadily introducing a myriad of smart home technologies such as smart thermostats and security systems to the communities that the 55+ population call home. While convenience and ease-of-use are front of mind while deploying these new technologies at senior communities, IoT devices are now used to promote various levels of safety and preventative care by tracking residents’ locations and proactively alerting emergency services if a resident’s routine changes or a fall occurs.
Check out our Senior Living infographic for more stats on technology use by the over 55 population.
Where Will the Seniors Live?
Who doesn’t wonder about the future? We all dream of an active and independent lifestyle as we think of aging, and most of us do not envision ourselves choosing traditional retirement communities as we become seniors. As traditional retirement communities drop in occupancy, planned 55+ communities catered to an active lifestyle gain popularity. For example, Parrotheads are flocking to Jimmy Buffet’s Latitude Margaritaville 55+ community in Daytona Beach, FL. This highly successful project boasted selling 500 units in the first year of operation. The race to attract the new dynamic of senior housing residents has begun.
Attracting the 55+ Resident
Baby boomers don’t want to change their lifestyle or habits when they move to a senior community. They want a move that is seamless and easy. Many senior housing owners and operators ask how they can best meet their future tenants’ needs? As with most current challenges, the answer is simple. With technology. And the foundation for all of today’s technologies is the building’s WiFi network. But not just any network will do. A fully managed and purpose-built WiFi network that delivers a connected life experience in all resident living spaces and common areas is now a requirement for 55+ communities, like electricity, heat, and water. Residents demand seamless connectivity as soon as they move in… before they even start to unpack.
Property owners must deliver inspired connectivity to their residents—more than hotspots and a portal. That’s where we come in. Single Digits designs WiFi networks that deliver customers the connected life experience they count on, wherever life takes them. We’ve helped thousands of clients optimize their WiFi networks and monetize them both directly (via traditional revenue gains) and indirectly (via lower turnover and higher occupancy rates). Additionally, Single Digits delivers peace of mind to our customers—our connected life experience is backed up by 24/7 US-based support. For more on the value of owning your own MDU WiFi network, check out our blog on the subject.
By Denise Chamberlin
Freelance Technology Writer
Single Digits is a leading provider of high-speed internet access. We help properties deliver seamless, effortless WiFi networks that their residents expect by designing solutions that break the bounds of uninspired connectivity. Contact us to see how we can create The Connected Life ExperienceTM in your senior living communities.
Smart technology is redefining “home” as we know it. It’s no longer just where the heart is; it’s a connected space that can be tailored to a person’s unique lifestyle, needs and preferences. Download our helpful (and brief) eBook 5 Ways to Create an Experience Your Tenants Love and step into the era of connected living.