By Steve Moran

Just this morning while I am on vacation I came across this:  

This is from some research sponsored by Google. Some more data:

  • 80% of Americans 55 and over are online
  • 65-year-olds have spent much of their adult lives experiencing advances in technology firsthand
  • 86% of online seniors are enthusiasts who spend at least 6 hours a day online
  • They are using technology to stay in touch with family and friends, organizing their finances, and improving health and wellness (73%)
  • For many seniors, being online and up to date with technology is an “imperative”
  • Because of technology, boomers are watching less TV

Who We Target

With the exception of Life Plan communities and Active 55+ communities, primary decision makers are nearly universally adult children with input from the prospective resident. And this likely won’t change anytime soon. Because of this, our promotional material focuses primarily on care, safety, and amenities, with a nod to carefree living (which perhaps sounds better than it really is).

What If We Targeted Future Residents?

Imagine that we started telling stories about older people who moved into senior living and went from blah lives to blazing lives. The kind of transition that reimagines the last healthy part of life. Imagine 60-year-olds and 70-year-olds start seeing these stories about people who are actually having better lives in senior living communities than they would outside senior living.

Two Things Would Happen

If we started doing this, two things would happen:

  1. We would have more young-old people move into senior living because it will improve their aging experience. It will make their lives richer. It will remove the stigma of senior living.
  2. When it comes time for someone to move into senior living because of need, they will want to move into your community because they have been hearing stories. They will insist on your community and not the one the kids pick because it is either most convenient for them or least expensive.

The Hard Question

The hard questions are these: do we have the stories, can we live up to their promise? There are some communities where the answer is clearly yes. Others where, unfortunately, the answer is no.