Call it Virtual Assisted Living: Seniors Can Stay in Their Own Homes Longer Thanks to These Pandemic Hacks

by Adam Felts

AgeLab Director Joseph Coughlin writes in MarketWatch on how the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the adoption of new technologies by people of ages, and what this might mean for the senior housing industry.

"Smart technologies once considered novelties provided a means not just to stay in contact, but to check in on how mom and dad were doing as well as to ensure their security by ‘seeing’ who might be at their door. Older adults also discovered that this new virtual assisted lifestyle not only reduces demands on adult children, but promises the possibility to extend the capacity to remain in the home they love

The implications for the senior housing industry are both immediate and longer term. The discussion, let alone the decision, to move to senior living can now be delayed by many. While showing modest improvement, senior housing resident numbers, down since the pandemic, are likely to experience a sluggish recovery not necessarily due to continued pandemic fears, but due to tech-enabled services that families and older adults see as an alternative to moving.

The average age of assisted living residents has been increasing long before COVID-19 — average new resident age is now in the mid-80s. Virtual assisted living is likely to further delay entering senior housing thereby further increasing the average age of new residents."

Read the article via MarketWatch.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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