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“What’s old is new again,” or so the saying goes. With senior living or retirement communities, whichever term you prefer, the model is shifting ever so slightly depending on what your community is, or what you offer the senior today. It may even depend on where your senior community is located; after all, geography can often play a part in the senior community profile.
Centrally-located communities are by far the more favored footprint as opposed to the more rural or pastoral locations. Seniors are looking for a community that’s part of their larger community. They want to live near their neighbors. They want to go to the church they have attended for years. Seniors are looking for communities with culture, activities and events, and they are turning to college towns, urban environments and smaller towns with vibrant downtowns.
Senior communities with a clearly defined promise, voice, and position in the market, who know who their prospect and senior is, are steps ahead. They know seniors want to stay engaged and purposeful in life during retirement. Whether it’s their passion, a pursuit, or a purpose, the community must offer channels which demonstrate forward thinking, even including learning benefits and opportunities that might assist in something more entrepreneurial.
What programs and engagement practices are you developing? What schools and learning opportunities are you partnering with? Retirement communities in general need to transform the way they approach development and the programs they offer. Even though bingo is still a popular program at some communities, many seniors want to continue to challenge themselves in intellectual ways.
Seniors are also looking to stay fresh in the tech world - they want to be able to navigate the Internet to do research and keep in touch with family and friends.
Get going. Get moving. Get involved with seniors. They want your community to show them how you’re working with different learning partners or programs. Education, finance, wellness, lifestyle, business, and recreation are all important avenues that your senior living community should embrace.
The decision to move into your senior community is a big one, and not without obstacles; on average, it takes about 18 months from the initial conversation and touchpoint to closing the sale. Not an easy job, and one that will always ask this question of the smarter, more approachable senior living communities: "How are we moving our community into the next phase to make us more relevant?"
Your answer to this question will define how you will attract the next generation of seniors.
Jeremiah Treacy is partner and creative director at Resin, the Bay Area advertising and branding experts in marketing to seniors. They've repositioned, rebranded and relaunched senior living communities in California, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia. Resin has increased occupancy, awareness, and brand expectations on what a senior living community can be. Smarter digital and analog strategies, creative, and brand management help clients always elevate with thinking that’s simple, fresh, and relevant.
With the Wellzesta Life software for senior living, you can offer your residents better communication and wellness through technology. To learn more, click here.