Today's Seniors Need More than Yesterday's Network: Making Senior Living Communities Technology-Ready
By Deanna MacCormac
Published: August 1, 2022
For senior housing, connectivity is not an amenity; it’s a necessity. Today’s aging Baby Boomers are setting new expectations for senior living, especially when it comes to technology. In many ways, their current lifestyles are enabled by reliable connectivity to support their phones, tablets, laptops, wearables, TVs, smart devices, and the like. So, when today’s aging adults consider their senior housing options, it is no surprise that a high-speed connection is one of their top two priorities.
Providing this top priority doesn’t have to mean increased costs to the owner or operator. In fact, we are seeing communities get creative and turning technology into a revenue-generating tool by providing technology-as-a-service packages to their residents.1
Here, we’ll discuss how operators can implement a cost-effective, technology-ready strategy to meet their increasing network demands.
Is your network infrastructure holding you back?
First, let’s lay out the technology dilemma that many communities are facing, so you can see how your community compares.
As the Baby Boomer generation ages, the number of seniors (age 65+) is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060.2 This new wave of seniors also brings a new wave of technology preferences that communities must plan for. Not only are 73% of seniors now online, but two-thirds of Baby Boomers say they can only comfortably last 24 hours without accessing the Internet.3 Because we live in an increasingly wireless world, communities are looking to provide more wireless services that can enhance their senior housing offerings.
Is your community considering any of the following technology services?
- Enhancing resident care through telehealth, remote monitoring, nurse call systems, IoT sensors, smart lighting, and smart watches.
- Boosting resident happiness with gaming, video calls, tablet programs, and voice-activated smart hubs to play music, share news, and set reminders.
- Increasing community engagement with personalized TV broadcasts to share daily schedules, menus, activities, and messages from loved ones.
- Improving operational efficiency with streamlined connectivity, scheduling panels for room visits, security & surveillance systems, door entry controls, and touchless visitor registration.
If, like many communities, your team is planning to incorporate more technology to augment your senior housing offering, you may also be discovering the limitations and challenges of your existing networks. Senior Housing News recently surveyed over 250 readers to identify the top barriers for implementing technology plans. The #1 challenge that communities are facing is the limitations of their network capabilities, specifically: Wi-Fi, bandwidth, capacity, or the physical infrastructure of the building.4