Resilient is the word best used to describe the senior living industry - and many others - following the curveball 2020 and the pandemic tossed our way. Over the last 19 months, senior housing providers, operators, and investors have reimagined the industry, letting go of traditional models and strategies. As we've discussed over the last year and a half, technology addressed many of the challenges presented. But it wasn’t as easy as that.

Providers that embraced tech and welcomed tech-based solutions with open arms are better equipped to meet the unique demands of today’s seniors. As occupancy rates continue to rise and more investment opportunities pop up thanks to new development trends, we see more and more importance placed on tech adoption. Holding onto past ideals or refusing to accept that technology plays a vital role in all aspects of life and business is a mistake, even in senior housing.

Here are a few stats to help explain:

  • 92 percent of seniors own a cell phone today (61% of which are smartphones).

  • 51 percent of seniors purchased some type of tech product.

  • 40 percent of seniors say they are open to using technology to help remind them to take medication and contact their doctor.

  • Before 2020, 21 percent of older Americans report being open to telehealth appointments with their doctor (this number has increased dramatically since the pandemic).

  • 53 percent of seniors say they are open to managing their health needs using a mix of in person personnel and technology.

  • Since 2016, seniors have gradually been increasing their use of the internet.

    • 81 percent report browsing the internet daily in 2021.

We show you these statistics to bring a more profound understanding of just how much the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology, not just in senior living facilities but in the lives of older adults overall. Given the overarching acceptance and use of smartphones, computers, tablets, and other forms of technology by seniors, it is no surprise that providers across the nation are using technology to build a more resilient workforce and empower staff, residents, and operators.

One interesting trend we are seeing is a new role referred to as the "tech concierge." As more facilities embrace this new model, they hire someone to help make the transition to a tech-facing model easy for all parties. Here are other ways senior living operators can benefit from the adoption of tech:

  • Increases efficiency

  • Enhances security of medical records

  • Reduces operating costs

  • Drives connection

  • Supports the ‘whole health’ model

What does all of this mean for the future of the industry? More revenue-generating and investment opportunities and a chance to reinvent communities to improve residents' quality of life and longevity. Interested in selling a property or investing in a senior living facility? Contact the senior housing experts at Sherman & Roylance.