Retirees report they would rather age in place by utilizing technology and remodeling their homes then move into an assisted living facility.
Retirement Living conducted a study to discover where retirees see themselves living as they age — an assisted living facility or their own homes. Over 80% of respondents said they plan to age in place, with nearly 52% reporting they would hire a full-time or part-time caregiver if they could no longer care for themselves.
While many respondents were still unsure about how they’ll use technology to continuing living in their homes as they age, the data shows that seniors are learning more toward using technology as opposed to the “possibly” and “not at all” outlooks from 10 years ago, according to the report.
Nearly 54% of seniors reported they are “likely or very likely” to use online pharmacies. About 40% of respondent reported they would use medical alert systems and food delivery services.
Retirement Living asked survey respondents about six different modern technologies: medical alert systems, grocery and food delivery services, ride-sharing apps, activity monitoring systems, online pharmacies and stair lifts.
For some technology companies, more senior interest could mean big business opportunities. Startups working to combat social isolation and loneliness in seniors, such as Papa and Silvernest, could benefit from the increased interest.
Silvernest is a home-sharing app — similar in some ways to Airbnb — that pairs older adults with roommates. Through Papa, college students provide in-home services to seniors. Both these companies believe that they can help mitigate loneliness and isolation, which can compromise older adults’ health and wellbeing in serious ways.
As more people age, the future of the industry may be technology-forward in order to ease the workload of home health nurses and home care aides, according to experts.
While utilizing technology may allow for seniors to age in place, remodeling their home is also a huge factor.
Most retirees recognize the need for making home modifications, as making even small changes can create a more accessible environment for older adults.
Nearly 75% of people said they planned to make some sort of modification to their bathroom, such as installing grab bars and non-slip mats, according to the study. Around 30% of respondents also said they planned on making modifications to their bedroom and home exteriors.
The Universal Design Living Laboratory and the Living in Place Institute are among the U.S. organizations actively focused on remodeling and home design as solutions for aging in place.
More than 2,300 adults ages 50 and older participated in the study.
Written by Kaitlyn Mattson