Question of the Month: Consumer Preferences

by Jeff Shaw

Compare and contrast consumer preferences today versus 10 years ago. What’s changed?

Opportunities for innovation

By Mitch Brown


Senior Housing Consulting

For well over a decade, our industry has wrestled with the relevance of independent living within the seniors housing continuum.
Leading-edge baby boomers who are just now entering the market are clearly looking for something different than traditional congregate living. They want choice, value, engagement and the ability to live a healthy, connected and relevant “Third Age.” 

They are also concerned about the longevity of their financial resources and safety/security in an increasingly turbulent world. These are all opportunities for new models of living and innovation in our sector.

Hygiene is paramount

By Tod Petty

Vice Chairman

Lloyd Jones Senior Living

Residents and their family members are changing the way they tour and shop communities in response to health and safety concerns. A beautiful building is still important, but more important is hygiene. Technologies enhancing hygiene in the community are taking off. Brands using contactless strategies from hand dryers and faucets in the public bathrooms to increased air recirculation will be absolute musts moving forward. 

Discretionary spending will lag as financial resources of our clients are dedicated to assurance of proper health services in our communities to successfully age. As we contemplate these changes in consumer behavior, we need to adapt to the new norms of the baby boomer generation.

A savvy, tech-using market

By Jane Arthur Roslovic

CEO and Co-Founder

Treplus Communities

Today’s active adults have many choices, and they prefer experiences over products. They want to be close to family and enjoy the outdoors. They are cost conscious in every aspect of their life. 

Baby boomers are defining expectations and know they are living longer and need the resources to age well. 

They want to live in their own home or downsize into a
maintenance-free apartment. As savvy and technology-literate consumers, over 75 percent of baby boomers frequently use Google products to help them shop versus taking a shopping excursion. They are motivated by perks, prestige, life enhancement and social engagement.

Technology expectations rise

By Chris Belford

Chief Executive Officer

Sinceri Senior Living

Resident expectations for seniors housing are constantly evolving. A decade ago, technology played a minimal role in consumer preferences, but today it has become more of an expectation than an amenity. Whether through resident engagement or guiding our community teams in delivering care, technological advancement has become an integral part of their preferences.  

Predictive analytics on the health and well-being of our residents are more prominent now and are becoming the standard for our residents and their families. As we move forward, we assume that technology expectations will continue to grow as older generations become more assimilated with technology.

Customer is more aware

By Marcus Van Ameringen

Vice President of Business Development

12 Oaks Senior Living

There is a greater awareness by consumers on how care is delivered. Given increased acuities of new residents, communities must create value in the prospect’s mind. For example, we demonstrate to families how, in memory care, we employ hearing devices for music therapy stimulation, Jamba mugs that make it easier for residents to drink liquids without spilling and colored plates to emphasize the variety of food groups. 

Consumers are focused on the care and feel of the community in their selection process. They want the human connection to be very evident for the care of their loved one. Also, labor and food costs are forcing changes in meal service delivery to more practical buffet-style models for middle-market assisted living.

Customers know their options

By George Draghiceanu

Chief Operating Officer

Distinctive Living LLC

Today’s prospects and families are looking for more of concierge-style, individualized experiences and services including wearable technology to support healthier lifestyle, telehealth, five-star dining experiences, walking paths, pickleball courts, pools, fitness centers, dog parks, bars, cafes, Juliet balconies, onsite physician services, more touchless technology, air purifications systems and infection risk and social isolation programs.

Today’s consumers expect more from their senior living providers, and their expectations continue to rise. They are aware that they have more choices and, therefore, approach researching senior care options like other vital decisions: through education and online research. They want to know they will be able to continue to live a lifestyle that is engaging and has purpose.

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