By Steve Moran

Disney is an expert at creating experiences for kids and families. It remains to be seen if they can create amazing experiences for older adults. Senior living knows older adults better than any other sector in health care and housing. We even have some expertise in creating experiences but have a long way to go.

Experience, the New Consumer Driver

On a regular basis, Google reports on trends they are seeing in search. Their February 28, 2022, email was titled: “Searches for new experiences are on the rise.”

Each month, the Google Ads Research and Insights team analyzes data sets of billions of recent search queries and consumer behaviors to develop a deeper understanding of key market trends. We’re seeing a rise in seasonal moments, with outdoor activities and winter getaways top of mind. And despite the omicron variant, searches for activities to get out of the house continue to rise.

One of the Worst Mistakes We Make

One of the worst mistakes we make in thinking about residents in senior living is to focus on the things they can’t do. It is a natural and easy thing to do, since every single person who moves into senior living does so because they either have lost certain abilities or anticipates losing certain abilities.

The Offer Opportunity

Today we mostly offer pretty ordinary, unexciting things. Three meals a day, plus snacks, transportation, room cleaning, care services … we have a pretty long list. Can you imagine Disney taking this approach?

“Pay top dollar to stay in a room near our theme park, so you can buy expensive, not-that-great food, and stand in line for hours to experience a two-minute ride.”

But imagine if we were 100% focused on providing great experiences for residents (and team members). From the Google findings:

  • Offering a “late-night shopping” experience (which in senior living might take place at 8 p.m.)
  • Going out to pet-friendly restaurants with the community or resident pooches
  • Scheduling random flower deliveries to residents
  • Going out to a sporting event or a concert
  • Taking your ladies out for a manicure and pedicure (maybe even men too)
  • Taking your residents out to the movies
  • Throwing a make-up party
  • Doing a refresh of men’s and women’s hairstyles

What if you figured out how to take them on a real vacation?

What experiences have you created for residents? What could you create if you dreamed big?