Senior Living Expert Speaks Out On Industry Trends

Feb 27, 2024 | Senior Care, Senior Lifestyle, Senior Living

Knoodle always strives to do more for its current and future clients. We are now aligning ourselves with expertise in the following areas: senior living, homebuilding, healthcare, and non-profits.

Here is one of our subject matter experts Jennifer Drago, CEO of Peak to Profit, a firm that consults with businesses around the country in senior living.

As you work with senior living communities, what changes are operators seeing in the wants and needs of residents?

The needs and wants of prospective senior living residents have been evolving, as a result of a new generation of baby boomers entering their senior years, as well as the aftermath of the pandemic.

First, we see an increased demand from prospective residents and their family members for detailed information and transparency from providers. In particular, prospects and their family members are looking for clear information on services, pricing, and facilities and would like this information to be easily accessible on community websites. This indicates a need for operators to enhance their communication strategies and provide easily navigable, transparent information online.

Additionally, the lifestyle expectations of new consumers are higher than ever before. There’s a growing desire for programs and facilities that not only maintain but enhance wellness, signaling a shift towards a more holistic approach that prioritizes overall well-being, including physical, mental and cognitive health.

Finally, to appeal to younger seniors, there is a notable movement toward active adult services and housing that offer maintenance-free living, emphasizing amenities and socialization opportunities, without the inclusion of traditional senior care options.

It is important to note that senior living providers need to pay significant attention to serving the middle-income market and address future affordability challenges. According to The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), 44% of all seniors will fall into the middle-income market by the year 2033. To serve this market, providers will have to have affordable living options and unbundled services to make senior living more accessible and attractive to a broader demographic.


How are baby boomers affecting senior living amenities and environments?

Baby boomers are significantly shaping the future of senior living communities through their distinct wants and needs. According to the American Seniors Housing Association, this generation emphasizes the importance of independence, desiring amenities and environments that support a self-sufficient lifestyle such as full kitchens, in-unit laundry, living rooms with natural light, and additional storage.

Baby boomers are not looking for a one-size-fits-all solution; they desire customized services that meet their diverse needs with an emphasis on high-quality services, privacy, and activities that stimulate both mind and body. In short, baby boomers are looking for a senior living experience that aligns with their active and independent way of life.

Additionally, senior living communities that are developed in urban settings are becoming increasingly popular among baby boomers, who are attracted to these communities for their access to public transportation, social engagement opportunities, and vibrant, community-connected options.

Finally, as mentioned previously, baby boomers are looking for communities with transparent pricing and unbundled amenity packages so they can choose the customized services that meet their needs but also their budget.


What are the top three requested amenities/services that residents are asking for by name?

In addition to full kitchens and in-unit laundry rooms to support their independence, residents want home maintenance services, landscaping services and 24-hour security to be provided by their senior living community.

Additionally, the trend towards wellness and holistic health is evident, with many baby boomers expressing a preference for programs and facilities that maintain or enhance their wellness, including physical health, cognitive health, mental health and nutrition.

Although not a requested amenity, we know that the quality of the food is a top satisfier (or a displeaser, if the quality is lacking) for senior living residents so the dining program and food variety must be prioritized by providers. Likewise, the customer service provided by staff is important to residents and families alike.


What are the children of residents asking for when they inquire about senior living facilities? What percentage of residents inquire vs. their adult children?

When adult children are reviewing senior living options for their parents, they are often concerned for their parents’ well-being, comfort, and quality of life. Adult children tend to focus on:

  • the professionalism and responsiveness of the staff,
  • the overall atmosphere and culture of the community
  • how well the facility can accommodate changes in health status over time as well as accessibility of healthcare options if and when these are needed
  • the safety and security of the community including measures and equipment to protect residents from accidents, health risks, and other vulnerabilities; and
  • the costs and affordability of the community, including what services are covered by the monthly fees and what might incur additional costs.

According to the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), adult children are involved in 73% of all senior housing decisions.


What are your thoughts on the changing times and how can senior communities navigate them better?

It’s a pivotal time for senior living providers and their leadership teams. After emerging from the pandemic, they’ve had to increase occupancy while facing steep inflationary increases in labor and supplies costs and severe staff shortages, while also managing the changing desires of their target audience. Providers must ensure the continued financial viability and sustainability of their communities and the senior living industry by focusing on the following:

  • Operational discipline to manage expenses and staff productivity
  • Personalized approach to sales with a focus on involving adult children and influencers in the conversation
  • Staff training, retention and engagement
  • Wellness-oriented lifestyles and amenities
  • Affordable and customized approaches to living options that meet the needs of the middle market
  • Strategic adoption of technologies that enhance the resident experience, improve operational efficiencies and address the growing demand for tech-savvy living environments.

Learn more about how to improve your senior living environment and how to market it by booking a free 30 minute consultant today.


Jennifer Drago is a visionary in senior living and consults on a wide range of subjects affecting the constant evolution of care to those over 65. Click here for more information

About the author:

Rosaria Cain, CEO of Knoodle, works with a team of marketers in creative, branding, public relations and digital disciplines that offer those in Phoenix and around the marketing arena. She is also proud to team up with experts in senior living, healthcare, homebuilding and the non profits categories to provide complete solutions for industry challenges.