Over the next 25 years, more than 40 million people working in the US are expected to retire. The retirees are looking for cost-effective senior care solutions. Some of them choose to go for assisted living communities where they can find the services they need at a friendly price. The traditional nursing homes are no longer the only profitable venture for the investors.
Technology is changing the senior care industry and this has led to a decline in the number of traditional nursing homes. This is because of the decline in profitability as senior citizens choose to use technology. In this article, we discuss how technology is changing the senior care industry investment.
1. Technology Advancements Led to Decline in Number of Seniors Who Stay in Nursing Homes
A research carried out by the Pew Institute indicates that 4 in 10 senior citizens are actively using their smartphones. The number has doubled over the past five years. With access to smartphones and tablets, seniors are learning how to use mobile apps to find and access the needed care services. This means that they aren’t simply visiting nursing homes in their area. Instead, they are exploring all senior living options from the comfort of their home and with a smartphone or tablet in their hand.
For this reason, the traditional senior care model continues to face challenges, forcing many of the investors out of business. They simply aren’t able to cope with the declining demand for their services. In the near future, we expect that only the seniors in need of advanced nursing care will be going to nursing homes.
2. Technology Has Made Available Senior Home Care Equipment
There are various healthcare products that can be used by seniors at home. For example, there are diabetes test kits and also blood pressure test kits. Seniors just need to learn how to use the equipment without needing to hire any additional senior care help. Typically, the self-home care equipment for seniors helps them to test their condition while at home. This eliminates the need for being at a traditional nursing home where someone monitors your health regularly.
The test equipment gives results in a few minutes and therefore the seniors can seek help if need be. Senior self-care equipment can be connected to a personal doctor through advanced technology. This means that the doctor is able to read the results and advise the seniors very quickly. With such technology available, many seniors would rather stay at home as opposed to being at a nursing home or any other senior care facility. This reduces the cost they would have incurred, and the added benefit is that they are also much more comfortable with health care at their own home. Such advances in self-care technology has also led to a decrease in demand for traditional nursing homes.
3. High Cost of Investing in Technology Discourages Investors
As seniors learn to use technology, demand for state-of-the-art technology in nursing homes has increased. Therefore, traditional nursing homes are forced to upgrade their technology. For those nursing homes that were established a long time ago and have outdated equipment, it is sometimes impossible to upgrade everything since this involves having large capital on hand. Those that cannot afford the upgrade are sometimes forced out of business. For the willing investors, the amount involved scares them away also. In the near future, only the investors willing to spend top dollar are able to afford opening up new senior care facilities, which means that the smaller nursing homes may soon cease to exist.
In the modern world, you can’t just expect to make money without investing in technology. This also applies in the senior care industry as senior citizens become techie savvy. The CTO`s in senior living communities are forced to respond to the demand for connectivity to help residents connect to the health care centers through technology. Therefore, even the senior care industry players should follow this trend. Offer the seniors the necessary technological advancement, and they will come to you.
4. Big Data and Advanced Tech Are a Big Area To Watch for Nursing Homes
Big Data has helped to advance the senior care industry. This is through optimizing caregiver’s time and resources while also personalizing senior care experience. We have seen the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and wearables become beneficial for data collection and data analysis. In fact, everywhere you check wearables have become common among the seniors. This is because they assist in monitoring the assisted living community residents.
Through data collection and advanced data analysis, wearables and IoT sensors go to the extent of offering suggestions depending on data collected. Perhaps it’s time that nursing homes to tap into big data so as to remain relevant. Predictive analysis and artificial intelligence rely so much on data and so with the use of wearables, these technologies will shape the future of senior care facilities. This is done through mining the data needed to improve the senior care industry.
This means that the industry players need to focus their attention on how to tap into big data to improve their services. The early adopters have already taken the lead and soon those that will not have made the move will become irrelevant. The use of big data in senior’s health care will help in preventing imminent health problems. Is your nursing home ready for the big data impact in senior care industry?
5. Personal Care Robots in the Senior Care Industry are Replacing Human Resources
Application of AI and Predictive Analysis has helped in delivering personal care robots for the senior’s care industry. If you have been reading the technology news, you already know that AI is the buzzword right now. It’s not surprising to see robotics enter the senior care industry as the robots have replaced humans in other industries too. The challenge is with the senior care industry investors. If they don’t move with the times, they will not be competitive with other senior care facilities and may end up with empty nursing homes. Although it sounds like sci-fi, we may soon see robots handling parts of full senior care.
It is absolutely necessary for the senior care industry players to invest in technology. This will help in ensuring they are able to offer quality high quality and personalized care to the seniors and that they stay in business.
Holly Klamer is a connector with Senior Guidance that help provides comprehensive resources on various senior living options. She loves working in the ever-changing world of digital and is fascinated by the role content plays in today’s marketing.