Aging-In-Place Comes of Age for Boomers

As members of the baby boom generation reach retirement age, the U.S. is seeing a dramatic shift of economic and social ideas. There is a near universal desire by today’s seniors and baby boomers nearing retirement, to age-in-place; that is, to stay in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably–regardless of age.

My parents are 69 and 71. I watched them care for both of my grandmothers for many years, making modifications to their home, bringing in medical equipment, hiring in-home care assistance, even placing one of my grandmothers in a nursing home as she declined with Alzheimer’s.

Now that both of my grandmas are gone, my parents are facing their own challenges with aging and their own desires to stay at home. I recently asked my dad what he thought aging-in-place was; and he replied, “Aging-in-place is living at home, it’s being in the community where you feel comfortable, having access to the doctors you’ve gone to for years, and the ability to stay active in your community. It’s being close to your kids and grandkids, your friends and your church, it’s living where you want to live.”

A few compelling Aging-in-Place growth statistics:

  • Aging-In-Place is the fastest growing sector of the senior care industry. (Freedonia Group, 2012)
  • Nearly 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age. (AARP, 2011)
  • 91 percent of pre-retirees age 50 to 65 responded that they want to live in their own homes in retirement.  Of that group, 49 percent want to stay in their current homes, and 38 percent want to move to new homes. (MetLife, 2010)
  • The NAHB predicts that aging in place remodeling market to be $20-$25 billion.  That’s about 10 percent of the $214 billion home improvement industry.
  • Assistive technology for aging adults to grow from $2 billion today to more than $20 billion by 2020. (Aging in Place Technology Watch, 2012)

Aging-in-Place products are for baby boomers, too

If your company has products or services targeting the aging-in-place market, don’t be shy about promoting them to boomers as much as, or even more, than you promote to seniors.

Boomers are caring for their parents and are aware and focused on independence for their own futures. They are aware of their aging and are being proactive towards ensuring their homes are equipped now for their needs in the future, and they have the money to get these projects done.

Adults 55+ controls more than three-fourths of America’s wealth and outspend younger consumers in all major purchases 2:1 on a per capita basis.  Not to mention, Boomers see the the money they spend on aging-in-place as an added value to their homes.  An investment in something they have spent their lives in.

Boomers are the most valuable consumers online

More importantly, boomers are researching and purchasing aging-in-place products and services online. They are the web’s most valuable consumers, they see the Internet as their most valuable and trusted source of information when making a major purchase and are spending over $7 billion online annually.

Catch the Aging-in-Place Wave Now

Many of the clients we work with in the 50-plus space, are looking for ways to either enter the aging-in-place space, or expand their offerings within it.

Aging-in-place is a swiftly rising current in the age wave and represents a changing trend in consumer tastes. Marketers should pay attention and direct some focus to this area.