As senior living evolves, so do the facts and figures that define where the industry is heading in the coming years. In this post, I’ll be compiling the senior living statistics you should be keeping your eye on and providing insights on what they mean for your sales and marketing efforts.
1. Seniors Living Statistics Show Residents Are Satisfied With Providers’ Response to Covid-19
According to a recent satisfaction survey shared with Senior Housing News, senior living statistics show that providers have stepped up and addressed aspects of their communities that need to be improved to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The highest score achieved by an independent living community was 94, while the lowest was 74. For assisted living, the highest community scored 95 and the lowest 77. Overall, residents are satisfied with their communities’ response to Covid-19 and have even requested some of these protocols remain in place after the pandemic ends.
When thinking about the benefits of living at a senior living community, we’re able to understand why satisfaction scores are so high despite communities being one of the first hotbeds for the pandemic. Aspects of daily living such as meal preparation and home maintenance are often handled by staff members who work tirelessly to ensure that residents can get everything they need in the community. And by creating engaging, yet socially distanced, events and activities, as well as developing plans for safe family visitations, it’s evident that many seniors feel living in a community — especially during the pandemic — has impacted their lives for the better.
2. A Look at the Average Length of Stay in Assisted Living
Senior living statistic show that, according to the National Center for Assisted Living, the average length of stay in an assisted living community is about 22 months. After this time, most residents will transfer to a higher level of care in the continuum.
Having to transfer from one community to the next can be stressful on the resident and his or her family. This is where CCRCs really shine. With one of the main benefits of continuing care communities being that they offer multiple levels of care on one campus, the ability to transition seamlessly between levels of care within the same community can drastically reduce the stress families feel when a loved one needs to move to a higher level of care. If your community is a CCRC, and you haven’t been emphasizing this selling point in your marketing, now is the time to start doing so.
3. Today’s Seniors Are Working 9-to-5s Longer Than Previous Generations
Long gone are the days where seniors retire upon turning 65 — at least for seniors who live near metropolitan hotspots.
According to Richard Johnson, Senior Fellow Director of the Program on Retirement Policy at the Urban Institute, people ages 65+ are 75% more likely to remain in the workforce compared to people in the same age group in past generations. While many in the 65+ age group are still loving their jobs, some continue to work because can’t afford to retire as early as previous generations. Costs are higher and savings are lower, causing seniors to put off retirement for the foreseeable future.
Upon further analysis of these senior living statistics, we predict that middle-market and affordable senior communities will experience a rise in popularity. If, as a senior living developer, your portfolio only includes luxury communities, there is a risk of getting left behind by developers catering to all areas of the senior living market. It’s something to consider before you plan your next community.
4. Online Food Delivery is Not Just for the Young Anymore
Seniors were previously an untapped market in the online grocery shopping and food delivery space. But with the global pandemic introducing the need for alternatives to frequent in-person grocery shopping, it appears that seniors are slowly, but surely, buying into the idea of doing groceries through apps. Now, 1 in 6 adults over age 50 say they order groceries online. Those with mobility and transportation issues see it as the perfect solution for overcoming these obstacles.
So not only are older adults adopting technology that helps them keep in touch with friends and family, they’re also adopting technology that helps them complete activities of daily living. What are some other ways you can incorporate tech into your community in a way residents would appreciate? Maybe it’s as simple as using an app where residents can sign up for events virtually as opposed to the classic pen-and-paper sign up that’s still prevalent at many communities. Whatever it may be, there are countless opportunities for using tech to enhance your residents’ daily lives.
5. Seniors are More Tech Savvy Than You Think
Today’s seniors are using mobile more than you think. Senior living statistics show that smartphone use among older adults has risen from 70 to 77 percent in the past two years alone. With this switch to mobile, your marketing should be enhanced for mobile navigation to create the best possible user experience for seniors learning more about your community and what it has to offer using their smartphones and tablets.
With digital marketing and interactivity being the norm, even for older adults, now presents the perfect opportunity to flex your digital prowess and make prospects fall in love with your community virtually. While many communities have re-introduced in-person touring and events at limited capacity, there’s still the need to take into account that many people still feel uncomfortable meeting in person.
It’s best to take a hybrid approach, as we’ve recommended for our clients, and add virtual events to your experiential marketing mix as well. Our clients have had great success hosting virtual events in which they take prospects on walkthroughs of their communities, offer tips for making the move to a community and more. We predict that, even when the pandemic levels out, virtual touring will be the preferred first meeting for prospects due to the fact that it offers a more personalized experience without having to leave home in the early stages of the sales journey.
6. Reviews Help Your Community’s Occupancy
Chances are, when researching a product online, you’ve perused the reviews to make sure it’s worth the money. Seniors and their families are doing the same thing when researching senior living communities. In fact, the latest senior living statistics show 82% of families used reviews as part of their senior living search to learn more about other families’ experiences with the communities they researched.
With the knowledge that families are reading review about your community on Facebook, Google, A Place for Mom and countless other review sites, you’ll want to make sure your online ratings and reviews are the best they can be. First and foremost, make sure you’ve verified your business across all major review platforms so that prospects know that it reall is your business they’re interacting with. Also, reach out to happy residents and family members and ask them if they’d be willing to rate your community online and write positive reviews to further convince potential new residents that your community is the right choice.
7. Following Parents’ Lead, Adult Children Likely to Choose CCRCs for Themselves
Adult children see how their parents are benefiting from living in CCRCs and are making the decision to move to CCRCs themselves when the time comes. Results of the “National Survey of Family Members of Residents Living in Continuing Care Retirement Communities” show that 77 percent of adult children survey responders would consider the CCRC lifestyle for themselves.
Adult children know the challenges their parents face and have seen firsthand how the presence of caregivers and the sense of community can impact their parents’ lives for the better. They know that, at a CCRC, they won’t have to be concerned with home repairs or yardwork. As you’re targeting prospects, these are the benefits of CCRC life you’ll want to show them. While family members understand this, those who never had a family member live at a CCRC may not be sold on moving to this type of community as easily.
8. Women Are the Majority in Senior Living
Women generally outlive men. Even with this knowledge, it may still come as a bit of a surprise to know that women make up more than 70 percent of senior living residents. With this comes higher rates of health issues and disability. Women also face the challenge of paying for the high costs of healthcare and, when coupled with the fact that most older women in senior living are single, having just one income can make paying for senior living more difficult for them.
This is likely why CCRCs are an attractive option for senior women. Having a continuum of care available to them, coupled with Lifecare and predictable care costs, allows residents to plan around the financial burdens that aging can present.
How will you use insights from this post to adapt your marketing strategy and attract new prospects to your community? Are there any key senior living statistics you didn’t see in this post? Let us know by tweeting @CreatingResults!