Google recently commissioned a third party study that was done by Ipsos on how younger and older boomers and how they search for senior living.

At least a couple times a year I cross paths with Cathy Smith, who is with Google Advertising Sales and has a specific focus on senior living. Every time she presents, the power of Google is put on display, but more importantly she and Marc Heneghan always provide insights that would otherwise be impossible to gather.

Boomers and Senior Living

Google recently commissioned a third party study that was done by Ipsos on how younger and older boomers and how they search for senior living.  Here is what they found:

  • Younger Boomers are those 50-58 and the older segment are 59-69
  • 71% of Boomers are thinking about and planning for the future
  • Boomers are online around 23 hours per week. It looks like this

    • 85% use email
    • 65% use the internet for news and information
    • 63% use chat
    • 53% watch videos
    • 98% use either desktop or tablet devices
    • 44% use mobile devices
  • While most Boomers are thinking about and planning for the future, few are thinking about or searching for any kind of information about senior living
  • When they do search for senior living only 4% are searching for themselves
  • 12% are searching for someone else, usually a parent or other another loved one
  • The reason boomers are not searching for senior living breaks down like this:
    • 55% want to live independently (they are not interested in purchasing what we are selling)
    • 37% are not old enough
    • 26% are waiting for an immediate need
    • 11% are waiting for a change in financial situation

When They Go Searching For Senior Living (the 12%):

  • 1/3 had no idea what they were searching for, meaning the right search terms to use
  • When searching for themselves, most were looking or independent living and active 55+ communities
  • When looking for others, they were looking for skilled nursing and assisted living – implying a relatively immediate need
  • The information they wanted for themselves included:
    • Information on the social aspects of the community
    • How the community could help or improve their personal wellbeing
    • What activities and events took place
    • They wanted to know if the community would have other people with shared interests
    • They wanted to know about the quality of the food
    • How close the community was to friends
    • What the pet policies are . . . presumably they were looking for pet friendly communities . . . but maybe some were looking for pet-free communities
    • Transportation options
    • Size of rooms
  • When looking for senior living for loved ones, it was very different:
    • The types of care offered
    • What medical services were offered
    • If 24/7 care was provided
    • How close the community is to  a hospital
    • The staff to resident ratio
  • These boomers were then asked what information they were looking for, but had a hard time finding:
    • The cost/prices
    • Payment options
    • What the lifestyle was like –  what does it feel like to live in your community
    • Sample menus
    • What activities and events took place – beyond just a bare bones activity calendar
    • Testimonials
    • Consumer reviews, particularly from people who actually lived in the community

Much of this data is consistent with what organizations like, a Senior Housing Forum partner and Margaret Wylde of ProMatura are reporting.  Part two will publish tomorrow and is a deeper dive into some of the implications of this data.

 Steve Moran