3 Senior Living Trends to Watch in 2022
The last two years have been extremely difficult for the senior living industry. While communities have successfully adapted their daily operations to uphold COVID-19 health regulations, they’ve faced unprecedented staffing shortages that are pushing leadership to adopt new technologies or replace tools that were hastily chosen out of necessity back in early 2020.
In 2022, we can expect to see even more movement toward technology solutions as the next generation of older adults explores senior living options. Here are three senior living trends to watch in the year ahead.
1. Smart Aging and Voice Technology Will Give Older Adults More Independence
If you have already integrated technology into your communities, you know onboarding your residents can be a challenge, but in 2022, you can expect to see the tide turn as older adults will be increasingly motivated by the independence they can gain with accessible and user-friendly technology.
This shift is part of a senior living trend called “smart aging,” which refers to Artificial Intelligence-powered tech that assists older adults in everyday activities. As part of the movement toward smart aging, expect to see voice technology integration continue to expand in community and clinical settings.
For example, Amazon recently launched their own smart aging platform, Alexa Together, which connects older adults directly to a care provider or loved one without even touching a button. Alexa Together’s other capabilities include fall detection, urgent response, and remote assistance.
If you are interested in integrating voice-activated smart aging tech into your community, Caremerge Voice is a great starting point. Caremerge Voice connects with Amazon Alexa to provide community-specific information to your residents. Users can ask if the mail has arrived, submit maintenance requests, or inquire about the activity schedule, all of which are particularly helpful functions for residents who are mobility or visually impaired.
2. Active Adults Will Shape the Future of Senior Living Communities
Senior living communities will need to accommodate this new generation of residents in their spaces. Often referred to as “active adults,” these younger Baby Boomers and older Generation X’ers are a tech-savvy group.
While many older adult living communities are marketed for 55-year-olds and up, the average age in many communities is closer to 70-years or older. Because younger Baby Boomers and older Generation X’ers live longer and more independently, senior living developers need to take the preferences of these future residents into consideration. This will be one of the main drivers for senior living technology adoption in 2022 and beyond.
3. Staffing Shortages Will Continue to Impact the Industry
The pandemic is causing a serious labor shortage in all industries, but its impact on the senior living community is dramatic. In September 2021, 96 percent of assisted living facilities reported they were understaffed. Worse, because so many communities struggle with staff coverage, care staff feels overwhelmed and overworked, and there’s no easy way to relieve all this pressure.
The answer may well be to make concerted efforts to retain current staff with wellness programs, higher wages, and technology integrations that take administrative tasks off of their plates. These tech solutions may mean a shift to ….
- Electronic medical records that allow care staff to easily access and update health status.
- Online medication platforms to reduce the time and complexity of residents’ medication schedules for care staff.
- Digital activity calendars that limit the number of questions residents have about their daily activities and options.
- A family communication platform to enable easy, secure, and direct staff communication.
As communities continue to adapt to senior living staffing shortages, technology solutions boost efficiency and streamline operations so your staff can spend more time caring for residents.
Jumpstart the New Year with a Trusted Tech Provider
The pandemic took a serious toll on the industry leaving many communities battling senior living staffing shortages and struggling with resident retention. As we look forward to 2022, communities should leverage technology to prepare for emerging senior living trends.
Partnering with a tech provider is a great way for communities to integrate solutions seamlessly. Caremerge offers a number of tools to assist care staff, promote resident health, and foster community. To learn more,