How to Grow Your Active Adult Community with Technology
Seventy-seven percent of older adults want to age in place, citing independence as a key reason. But while the population of older adults should reach 80 million by 2040, their homeownership rate is expected to drop.
In other words, more older adults will become renters in the coming years. This creates an opportunity for active adult communities.
Here are three ways technology can help them attract older adults who value their freedom and don’t need the hands-on support of traditional senior living.
1. Enhance Day-to-Day Living with Smart Home Technology
For many older adults, moving to an active adult community will mean downsizing. How do you make giving up the square footage worth it? Smart home tech can play a role:
- Thermostats that let users adjust AC / heat from their smartphone. This is particularly beneficial as natural gas prices surge to 14-year highs. A smart thermostat keeps residents comfortable and helps them optimize the energy they use.
- Voice command devices that can play music or deliver weather reports. If the device is integrated with your community engagement platform, it can also announce community-wide events taking place that day.
- Smart lights that users can remotely control, turning on and off, and even changing their color.
Think of smart home technology as a form of functional luxury – it provides meaningful upgrades that simplify and enrich the daily routines of community members.
2. Provide On-Demand Fitness with Virtual Wellness Programming
Anyone can get a gym membership or buy a set of dumbbells and walk around their neighborhood.
One common way active adult communities justify a premium over multi-family is with more robust fitness offerings.
A virtual wellness program can be a great supplement to any in-person facilities a community offers. A digital platform, like Spiro100, lets community members stream whichever fitness classes they want from their homes or when they’re traveling.
It’s also a great way to provide safe fitness options during future COVID surges.
3. Make Building Relationships Easy with a Community Engagement Platform
Many people choose active adult communities so they can forge new relationships with like-minded individuals. This isn’t guaranteed with other rental properties, and it’s unlikely if older adults choose to age in place.
In fact, socializing might be the biggest draw your active adult community offers.
A 2015 study examining loneliness revealed that self-isolating behaviors are common among older adults. One common reason? A “lack of suitable activities,” meaning study participants thought there wasn’t much for them to do.
When that’s the case, older adults miss out on the benefits of social participation (improved mental health, increased cognitive function, etc.).
A community engagement platform can help. A kind of private Facebook, a community engagement platform quickly connects members with one another and makes it easy to plan events. And its format is one many residents will be familiar with: 73 percent of adults aged 50 to 64 already use Facebook.
What’s more, a community platform is explicitly designed to communicate about social events, making it a clear destination for anyone looking for activities.
With your community’s platform, residents can…
- Host public and private groups to organize clubs and events.
- Access a community directory that features members’ interests (great for finding like-minded folks).
- Find nearby dining options.
- Even submit and monitor maintenance requests.
Many older adults want to cultivate their social lives. A community engagement platform makes that process easy and enjoyable.
Technology Streamlines the Active Adult Lifestyle
Thirty-two percent of older adults planning to leave their current home (a house or another senior living community) would move into an active adult community. The most important consideration they have when moving? Their independence.
In today’s digital world, technology is a necessary component of this freedom, and older adults already rely on it. Eighty percent of older adults use smartphones and video chat to keep in touch with loved ones.
Moving to an active adult community promises older adults a chance to revitalize their lives in new, exciting ways. The right technology can help your community deliver on that promise.
If you want help identifying and implementing the right digital solutions for your community,