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Senior housing trends for the next 10 years -- what's the starting date?

Predicting the senior housing future -- it makes you think.  A blog post originally written by Eric Schubert (of Twin Cities senior housing provider Ecumen) caught my eye today -- talking about the 10 senior housing development trends for the next 10 years. The trend list included: sustainable design, universal design, technology, age of amenities, at-home services, NORCs and virtual villages, empowerment, memory care, and new ways of financing. Can't argue with any of that, especially since aging in place has become a buzzword that underpins many of the above markets.

Here's the wording of the section on technology:

"Technology, Technology, Technology:  The next generation of seniors will be the most wired in history. Technology is essential to their life and will be integral to design to support social connections, ease and wellness. Look for today’s sensor technology, which helps identify small health issues before they grow larger, to move into even more interactive applications that connect people to family members and health care professionals."

Vendors are in the market now and more are on the way.  But while Eric is correct, the ten year period has already begun.These technologies and services are essential to provide support to today's seniors and their adult children and caregivers. Family members and health professionals would benefit today from current wearable and home-based sensor-based technologies and caregiving apps, references that can be found throughout this website, including press releases (put 'caregiving' into the search box to see what I mean.)  Now do the same thing with 'sensors'. You get the idea.  And a new consortium launched today at the ASA conference to help vendors find new channels of distribution and "facilitate innovation through professional development, education and standardization of products and services, and by creating a vital and expanding aging technology community." (Stay tuned for more about AgeTek.org after the ASA conference.)

Senior housing service providers -- take the challenge. Make the next 10 years start now and all of today's non-profit and for-profit senior housing providers become senior service providers, (along with home care agencies, home health agencies, geriatric social services, and geriatric care management). They seek competitive differentiation not just in housing they offer, but in the in-home services that extend beyond housing offerings.  Become a caregiver's source for information, integrate technologies in pilot programs, recommend them to third parties who can distribute them.  Wouldn't it make sense to lead (rather than follow) this world into the next 10 years? Because from a technology innovation standpoint, the clock has moved forward and it's time to get going.



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I read the article today as well.  Let's all hope the technology train gets on its way


First, I am a long time fan of your blog, first time posting comments.

The start date of senior housing trends is yesterday, today and tomorrow. Trends that are here today resonated from previous years (boom and bust) and the current real estate environment that we live in today. The reality of the future of senior housing lies in all three tenses and I think that its foolish to try and predict too far into the future (greater than ~3-4 years). Technology is and will continue to be one of the four legs of the senior housing "stool" and will evolve over time. How will this evolution occur? Technology products and services will begin to be transparent to the user over time rather than as an adjunct to the current infrastructure. These technology "veins" will run throughout the various types of senior housing in the future as much as heating, air conditioning and plumbing.

George Patton
Senior Housing News

With a 75% increase in the 75+ population predicted between 2010 and 2030 we are entering the red zone.  We should have been preparing for several years for how emerging technologies will to be required to transform Senior Housing and Care. My article published in the Texas Real Estate Business Journal in May 2007, entitled The Changing Face of Retirement Communities www.texasrebusiness.com, chronicled my view of the future, including the impact of technology on Senior Housing.  That article is now somewhat dated, however it still provides a solid starting point for “future think” in this rather staid industry.


Many forward thinkers are already on the bus.  Ecuman has been a leader in this effort.

We have had the opportunity to work with a number of providers including Roskamp Patterson Management and Independence Villages in developing transforming technology strategies.  It requires thinking outside the box and beyond the Campus. 


The clock started several years ago, but framing the conversation in context of a transformational decade is brilliant!


Craig L. Smith

Senior Housing and Health Care Consultant


I agree with the findings and think technology will help keep seniors in their homes. I see home elevators as a practical solution to allowing seniors to keep their home without moving from their community.

To you, it’s about finding care for your aging loved one that is trustworthy and reliable. To us, it’s about supplying the absolute best quality home care, custom-tailored to you and your family’s unique needs.

A decision made with regard to a senior home is a life long commitment. Unfortunately the security aspect (building/area/community) often get shadowed by price concerns. Everyone should give more attention to security factor at all times.

Security is the main reason why seniors choose senior housing instead of their own homes. It's true that home security systems have made huge advancements in the last years but the main problem is they can't save you if someone breaks in while you're in your home... The thief will be startled by the alarm and he might do anything.

I have no doubt that technology will play a large role in senior housing. I would personally love to see health monitoring systems in many of my clients' homes. However, the major barrier always tends to be price/cost... who will pay for it? If my client has to pay for a PERS, they may not choose to have one. However, those that have insurance coverage for a PERS monthly subscription will usually have it put in place. Free is easy to sell. This isn't just isolated to technology but price/cost is a major barrier for many of my clients. Bathroom safety equipment, mobility aids, etc. It would be great if insurance or government programs covered these costs for the majority... there's a strong argument that it even makes economic sense to fund technology solutions and home safety equipment as they can prevent future costs - hip fractures, etc.

- Kevin


I just wanted to commend you for your insight and encouragement of this industry.

It is an exciting time and your publication has assumed a leadership position in covering the needs of a segment of our population who want to use technology or who need to but have been left out for a number of reasons.

Keep up the drumbeat and the good work.

Harry Bailes
Family Health Network

HI Laurie,

Just wanted to thank your for this article. I work with www.viliving.com by Hyatt, and we are working really hard to recognize the technology needs of the aging that live in our communities. There really isn't enough out there technology wise for this group- including apps etc. If we can set the bar higher when it comes to technology, then everyone catering to seniors and the aging community will have to step up.

Thanks again,

I believe we are going to see a strong growth in home care over the next two years. Baby Boomers are far more independent minded and have a far more expectations than people from previous generations.

Home care will give baby boomers to option to remain in their own homes allowing them to skip the added expenses connected with assisted/supportive living.


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