Senior care has always been a priority in our society; but as the industry continues to battle Covid-19 and begin the vaccination process, it’s also more important than ever to look ahead and try to identify what trends will help, hinder, or complicate efforts to recover from the worst year the sector has ever endured.
Today’s seniors are looking towards retirement more as a time of a transition and to turn their attention towards what matters most: whether it’s family, hobbies, traveling plans post- pandemic, or learning new things. This generation’s seniors crave a fulfilling lifestyle that provides them with all of the services and amenities they need to enjoy an engaging, entertaining life full of experiences.
Future Trends in Senior Living
One of the ways senior living is changing is that many communities are now calling themselves by a different name. For example, instead of referring to themselves as a “Continuing Care Retirement Community,” many communities are using the term “Life Plan Community.” Regardless of which term they use, the future of senior care will surely emphasize the benefits of an engaging lifestyle and a full continuum of support services.
Senior living communities have been moving away from a care-first mindset to a wellness lifestyle for years now, with different options for care available. In the years to come, this focus on total wellbeing will likely only become stronger, with several new types of wellness programs increasing within senior communities:
- Education and lifelong learning
- Exercise (led by both instructors and technology)
- Health education and disease management
- Food and nutrition education and preparation
- Intergenerational programs linking youth and older adults
A Bright Future for Seniors
Increasingly, senior communities are utilizing new technologies to help track resident activity through monitoring devices. These include wearable devices and motion detectors, smart mattresses or even the best affordable hybrid mattresses, and even personal robots to keep track of sleep patterns, heart rates, and location. Devices like this can be especially useful if a senior has existing physical conditions, or requires the use of a brace, walking boot, or other type of support that need to be checked regularly.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid changes in the senior living industry. Technology is playing a leading role in how seniors stay connected, both inside and outside retirement communities. However, two essential things that aren’t likely to change anytime soon are the sense of community senior living offers older adults and the focus on offering opportunities for a fulfilling lifestyle. Advances in health care technology will only continue to provide more independence and freedom for seniors, and allow them to keep in touch with loved ones and doctors while still maintaining a healthy, happy lifestyle for as long as possible.