Senior living is getting a make-over as those aged 65 and older are re-examining what they want. The desire for safety, accessibility and connection with their loved ones has seniors turning toward assisted living made possible by smart home technology.
Using market intelligence to discover emerging trends within senior living, we’ll explore:
- What market research reveals about senior living trends
- A view of home-tech patents on the rise
- What consumer analysis tells us about senior living trends
And statistics reveal a bit more on this aging subject:
- Globally, 38% of seniors live with extended family
- In 2019, 16.5% of Americans were 65 years or older
- In 2019, senior living homes say occupancy rates dipped to 8%, the lowest since the 2nd quarter of 2011
Senior Living Trends – Market Analysis
The world is aging – 16.5% of Americans are 65 years or older, a number which is expected to reach 22% by 2050. And this poses the question of what senior living looks like, and what the future holds all of us.
Our market intelligence reveals emerging trends for seniors and their future living arrangements, many of which are happening now. . .
Our timeline pinpoints emerging trends. Each color represents a different segment that can be clicked on to explore, showing us which conversations are picking up and whether or not they have staying power.
Not surprisingly, the conversation in March spikes with Coronavirus Cases and COVID-19 becomes the trend, with other segments speaking to its affects on senior life, from isolation to ordering extra PPE. But a smaller category lingers and has stayed consistent even though it’s not exceptionally large yet – and that is Next Generation Senior Care Technology.
Isolating this area reveals articles related to it, such as one printed by K-4 Connect.com from October of 2019. In it, they predicted that 2020 would be the year of smart senior living – and the pandemic has helped make this reality, accelerating technological advances beyond where they typically would be. And in our drive to stay connected and sane, smart senior living technology has advanced as well, thankfully.
In the U.S., 27% of people aged 60 and older live alone, so it’s not surprising to see senior tech capturing a good bit of this burgeoning conversation. But what’s on the horizon with smart home patents and how might they be applied toward the senior segment? Market intelligence reveals all . . .
Patents Supporting Smart Home Tech
In our Patents dataset, we get a better view of smart home technology of the future. We can explore any time period we choose, but below we selected a bunch that were from 2019. With each one, we can view which applications have been filed, by whom and whether they have been approved.
Many of these selections would elevate any home-living experience. There’s a gas stove with a controller; a smart pillow that solves a problem for side sleepers and their pillow arm; an air purification system with night warming functions for motor homes and lots more.
Within these segments, the company WeChat has filed a patent on March 4, 2020 for a household interaction system that helps control the home environment and can store data.
WeChat is owned by Tencent and this app can do everything from making video calls to settling bill payments and booking hospital appointments. Most recently, it has incorporated a digital health code, a system China uses to keep track of an individual’s travel and health status during the pandemic. And they have been diving in to help the elderly better understand technology and showing their seniors how to use their app more efficiently.
If we want to know what else WeChat is up to, we can pivot to our Company dataset.
Exploring the Company Dataset
Here, although WeChat doesn’t show up, its owner Tencent does. And this savvy tech company worth 69B has its hands in five of the ten categories shown below – ranging from beauty to content marketing.
We can see which segments Tencent is mentioned in, as well as how much money is on the line and what companies are invested in it. For example, Tencent Holdings Ltd is visible in the category of Weibo, Agency, Media and Entertainment, with an approximate investment of 150M.
And with all of these investments in smart home tech, what do people feel about it? Our consumer intelligence provides essential context to this market intelligence.
Senior Living Trends – Consumer Analysis
Senior housing saw occupancy rates dip in 2019 to around 87%. With the advancement of technology and the fact that globally 38% of seniors live with extended family, advancement in technologies could give our elderly a chance to live independently longer, driving that dip down even further. However, it could go the other way as well. If senior living facilities adopt these new technologies, it may enhance senior living care housing making it attractive and causing their population rates to surge. It really depends on which segment does a better job of adopting new technologies – private homes or industry..
And market intelligence echoes this toss-up. An article found in Quid Social (below, left) highlights our most recent elderly generation, the Boomers, as more tech savvy and desiring senior living locations that adopt tech. And our intel to the right shows what understanding can be gleaned from the specific products and technologies seniors want. It reveals that the number one desired gadget for seniors is a Roomba, with medical devices coming in 4th.
This emphasizes that the modern senior isn’t ready to put heart monitors at the top of their Christmas list . . . or are they? Our word cloud reveals mostly positive sentiment from seniors on the subject:
And there’s more.
We can get a better idea of what’s important to seniors by using a crosstab to view social sentiment and passion around the themes of Technology, Safety and Price as it relates to senior living. Technology is talked about with the most passion, while Price comes in second and Safety is a bit less of a concern. Older folks want these conveniences and are willing to pay for them, but there’s likely an awareness disconnect.
So maybe that heart monitor maker who wants to incorporate other health-monitoring conveniences just needs to get the word out to this crowd a bit better. Maybe some influencer marketing is in order? There are granfluencers ready and waiting, if so!
Using social listening to read the mood will help brands understand how people feel about new emerging trends within senior living spaces. And as we continue to advance technologically, it will be vital for companies to monitor consumer emotion as well as market intelligence if they hope to stay on top of relevant emerging trends in every category.
If your brand seeks to step boldly into 2021, allow us to show you how your company can be the wave of the future for the old, or for whatever category makes sense! Click here to reach out for a demo.