The incoming continuing care retirement community resident is healthier, more technologically savvy and increasingly informed, a new report suggests.
Use of personal technology is one of the biggest changes among residents at Frasier Meadows Manor in Boulder, CO, according to Varsity senior public relations strategist Shane Swisher. Varsity, a PA-based marketing agency, sent a researcher to live at the CCRC for a month to keep written and video records of community interactions, and additional researchers did focus groups with residents. The resulting report is a follow-up to the first Project Looking Glass, conducted in 2007.
“We chose Frasier because we think they will represent the country’s retirement communities in 15 years,” Swisher says.
Residents there are doing more online research, he says, which reflects both an increase in personal devices like smartphones and more digital marketing efforts by senior communities, he says. Residents increasingly own an iPad, Kindle or iPhone or Android, and many were using Facebook and Skype.
Another change: incoming residents are increasingly expecting to be able to take their furry friends with them. Residents reported going on a wait list so they could have a pet-friendly unit, and said there should be more units made available.
“Pets are now family,” Swisher says. “Especially as you see so many more people without children, people expect to bring their pets.”
If there was another theme, it was that CCRCs looking for residents have to stay person-focused and ahead of the trends, Swisher says.
“With the first Project Looking Glass, you had a lot more of the ‘Silent Generation.’ For newer generations, they are the customer,” he says.