Aging in Place is a growing trend that is driven by the fact that older Americans want – and sometimes need to remain in their homes as long as possible. This trend is quickly becoming mainstream and has implications for several industries from housing to technology, health services, and financial services.
Of course, Boomers are driving the aging in place movement. One of the factors contributing to this trend is that today’s Boomers are dealing with multiple generations of life stages – aging parents, their own health and career challenges and possibly caring for adult children and grandchildren. Clearly, Boomers are juggling quite a bit and the option of remaining in the family home is very attractive. Previous generations of retirees fled for the warm climes and controlled environments of the classic retirement communities of Florida and Arizona.
Boomers have a lot going on in their lives and don’t see themselves as the type of people to hit he shuffleboard court. They want to remain independent, are looking for products and services that will help them maintain their quality of life and maximize their retirement next egg.
Here is a short list of industries that could be capitalizing on this trend by providing the right solutions to Boomers to enable their goal of Aging in Place.
New Housing – New housing options are cropping up around the U.S. that look nothing like the cookie-cutter developments of the ’70s and ’80s. Their main feature is that they enable retirees or downsizers to stay in their community where they have family, friends and other emotional connections. This allows people to remain part of their community as volunteers and also be on the receiving end of care when they need it.
Remodeling – This business could boom thanks to a few factors: housing prices and the stock market are up, providing the financing. And, the trend of multiple generations living together is driving expansion and retrofitting existing homes to accommodate either an aging parent or returning child. There is also a big business to be had making the house more accessible to seniors with health and mobility issues. Everything from walk-in tubs, barrier-free showers, pull-out shelf systems, installation of assistive equipment and technology and ramps can be done to an existing home to make it easier for a physically challenged senior.
Financial Services – There will be a need for specific banking and investment advice to help seniors remain at home. This can range from educational services and coaching to assistance and advocacy to help people pay their bills and get the most from their investments
Health and Social Services – This is a wide array of services from special fitness programs and classes in gyms to home healthcare services and everything in between. There is an enormous opportunity to provide services to help Boomers aging in place to optimize their mental and physical well being. Preventive services around fitness and nutrition could be customized for this audience. Additionally, bringing healthcare and wellness/rehab to the home is critical for seniors to stay independent in their home as they age and develop health issues. There is also an opportunity to provide transportation services for people who give up their licenses or decide to no longer have their own car.
Technology – This is a big opportunity with the advances and ubiquity of mobile devices and wifi. Technology not only enhances quality of life, but it can also enable the ability to stay independent, especially for people who have health issues that need monitoring. The mobile healthcare market is about to explode and is a big initiative for Apple with their upcoming release iPhone 6 and HealthKit, a suite of new tools for developers that will enable them to integrate your health data into new apps (including one from Apple called Health) in iOS 8. These types of technologies can help monitor health and relay that information to Doctors or other caregivers. This can also extend to the Internet of Things where everything from thermostats to security cameras can be connected to the web and be controlled by others.
Boomers will once again change the game as they being to “Age in Place”, and this movement will result in new businesses and services being created to fill the needs of these new age retirees.