Thrive In Place Blog

3 Technology Trends Shaping Today’s Senior Housing

Senior housing of the 20th century was aesthetically drab, uninviting and boring. Residents had very little expectation of privacy and most enjoyed fewer creature comforts at their nursing homes or assisted living facilities than they did in their own homes. There were relatively few choices in senior housing back then, so most elderly people simply moved into the senior housing facility nearest to their families.

Today, there are many more choices in senior housing. The population of the United States is growing older, and these aging Americans expect better senior housing than their parents and grandparents did. Because American seniors are living to an older age, they will also need senior housing for a longer time than their predecessors. Many Americans have put aside substantial savings towards retirement, so they look for senior housing with a wide variety of amenities and services.

This new attention towards senior housing is causing the development of trends in the senior living construction and renovation market. Here are three of the most important trends for 2015 and beyond.


IndependaTV - TV for Seniors

Senior Housing News says that the use of technologies that allow seniors to live safely and independently in lower acuity settings will skyrocket. Social technology that keeps residents engaged and connected with friends and family will become especially important, as many adult children now live far from their elderly parents. One technology, IndependaTVe™, allows seniors to use their television to communicate with loved ones. These technologies must be fun, meaningful, and easy for seniors to use.

A Home Away from Home

Home Away From Home

Creating a home-like setting is also an important trend in senior construction and renovation. Incorporating a hospitality design into senior living facilities improves market acceptance and operational feasibility. Creating a home away from home atmosphere is also helpful for seniors living with early stages of cognitive decline or dementia.

Variety Is the Spice of Life

Most seniors have enjoyed the many choices that American life has to offer. Many seniors miss the endless variety of choices in food, clothing, and activities when they move from their own homes into a senior living facility.

Modern senior living construction and renovation design should offer seniors as many choices in their living environment as possible. Some seniors prefer small living quarters with conveniently placed appliances, while others require a great deal of space for wheelchair access or the belongings they want to keep.

For maximum market appeal, senior living construction and renovation should always reflect the most current trends in senior housing.

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  • Our guests use the video chat and photo and message sharing features of Independa to stay connected with their families. In fact this week we admitted a guest who has a daughter in Georgia and another in Italy. I spoke with the daughter about how to share photos and messages and to make video calls from her Independa device, and later went to see the guest about how it was going. She said to me “Kelly this video chat is so cool! I don’t care how long I have to be in here now because I can see my daughters!” It’s just amazing to see one of our guests be able to connect with a loved one all the way from Italy!

    Kelly Miles, Director of Rec Therapy
  • You don’t need to keep calling me now to remind me, my TV just told me to take my medication!

    93 Year Old Independa User
  • I love that Dad can get digital photos now. He didn’t want a Facebook account so the only time he would see any photos was when we came over to visit and we’d show him on our iPhone. Now he gets them himself on the TV all the time, and when people come to visit him he proudly shows them his photo album on the TV.

    USA Properties
  • I’ve been using video chat and it has opened up my world – my family who live close by still visit once a week, but now I get to see them every day. I also get to see the rest of the family who live interstate and can’t come to visit. I also video chat with old friends who I haven’t seen for years. It has made such a big difference to my life, I don’t feel isolated anymore. I highly recommend this to other people; it really does change your life.

    USA Properties
  • I live in California, my 80 year-old dad lives in Texas and my 21 year-old daughter lives in Colorado. My daughter spends all her time on social media using her smart phone, whereas my dad spends all his time watching TV, he doesn’t understand social media and doesn’t have a smart phone. Independa is great because not only does it bring us closer despite the geographical distance between us, it bridges the gap between the generations because it uses the technology they are most comfortable with.

    USA Properties
  • We use the video chat feature in the resident’s TV to get the entire circle of care together at once; we will have the nurse and the physical therapist in the room with the resident, and we will then video call their family. That way everyone who is involved in their care gets the same message at the same time and can ask questions while we are present so there is no confusion. One time when we were working with a deaf resident, we were able to arrange for her daughter to sign via video chat and translate what we were saying and the questions her mother had; it made such a huge difference.

    Wellbridge at Brighton
  • My dad was on the Honor Flight to DC today. An amazing trip for a veteran. I was able to meet him at the Korean War Memorial. He is a Korean War veteran. I was able to send pictures of the entire experience to my mom at home throughout the day. Mom was thrilled, and when my dad gets home he has all the pictures from his trip on his TV and can even play a slideshow. Amazing!!! Thank you!

    Kendal At Home
  • Video chat on the TV is great! I was using FaceTime on my iPad to see the grandkids and I thought that was the greatest thing, but seeing them all on the big TV is truly incredible, it’s like they are in the room with me. I love it!

    USA Properties
  • When Lillian broke her hip a week before her Grandson’s wedding, she and the family were broken hearted because they thought she would have to miss this very special day. Thankfully, she had chosen Wellbridge of Brighton for her short-term rehab. “I’m going to my Grandson’s wedding” she proudly told the staff as she received the video call through her TV and was instantly ‘seated’ in the front row for the ceremony!

    Wellbridge of Brighton
  • I travel a lot for work. I used to worry myself sick about not being able to be there if Mom needed me. She says the smartphone I got her is too small, too complicated, and hard to see, but she loves using Independa. Now she can see all her shows and we can video chat so I can make sure she’s taking her medicine. It’s such a relief to check in anytime and know she’s OK.

    Laura P.