It’s no secret that technology has taken ahold of us and there’s no turning back. From Alexa and Siri to all the various devices aimed at making our lives easier and more connected, it’s a wonder how we made it through life before tech! But technology hasn’t just changed the way Millennials and younger generations interact with one another, it has also had a major impact on the growing senior population. As we discussed a few months back, the senior population has caught the attention of tech giants, which was evident at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Since then, we have seen a variety of smart devices targeting the senior living industry hit the market.
Perhaps the most popular devices we are seeing include wearable technology and voice-activated assistants. While developers are hopeful about the lasting impact these devices will have on the senior population, senior living providers are still looking into best practices for implementing them. There are numerous reasons for this, but for one it is important to note that new devices and changing technologies come with some inherent risks for senior living facilities. Security is a major concern, especially given all the data breaches that have taken place in recent years. Providers are diligently looking into how they can integrate these technologies into SNFs without putting patients at risk.
How Wearables Are Changing the Senior Living Landscape
Fitbit and the Apple Watch are households names in our society today, but most people associate these wearable devices with younger, active populations. But not so fast – several prominent senior living providers are examining how wearables can provide an added level of care for residents. More and more seniors are embracing wearables like the Fitbit as a way to maintain their health on a day-to-date basis, rather than waiting until their next doctor’s appointment to see how they are doing. This is significant for numerous reasons, but namely that is allowing Baby Boomers and our growing senior population to take a more proactive approach to their health and wellness. We are living longer than past generations, and this is largely due to the fact that we know so much more about our health and have various tools to address concerns before they turn into a problem.
The Rise of Voice-Activated Devices
Along with wearables, we are also seeing a rise in the number of voice-activated (think Siri, Alexa, and Google Home) that are making their way into senior living communities. These devices are designed to make life that much easier on residents, as they can control lights, locks, TVs and other electronics, and phones.
While we’ve yet to see a widespread adoption of voice-activated devices and wearables in senior living, the day is certainly coming. To learn more about opportunities in senior living for investors, please contact Shep Roylance of The JCH Group today.