Tech-Enabled 'Longevity Economy' May Fuel Senior Housing of Tomorrow

July 31, 2018
Woman using mobile device in a bookstore
Photo: Unsplash/Malcolm Lightbody

Growing technological innovations along with the rise of on-demand home services may be reshaping senior living, just as the share of older Americans is set for "explosive" growth.

Joseph Coughlin, author of the book The Longevity Economy, posits that the "aging of tomorrow," will look more like the current Millennial lifestyle of today, using rideshare, home delivery, meal prep, and other services to make life easier, and care more affordable, "Generally speaking, utilizing services to stay in one’s own home via the sharing economy cost less than the average monthly cost of assisted living – even as the need for services increases with diminishing physical capability." Coughlin writes in Forbes that these tech-enabled services may signal a new housing boom, "Rather than waiting to be needed or discovered, senior housing properties could become centers of services enabling aging in place in the home, forming a virtual pipeline to senior housing residences from assisted living to skilled nursing."

While I am a fellow believer that demography is destiny, context also matters. As I argue in my book, the context of aging tomorrow will be far different from when the concept of assisted living and senior housing generally was originally developed. The evolution of today’s and tomorrow’s innovative technologies and services are set to profoundly change the context of aging, our expectations for life in our advanced years and where we choose to age.

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