Research sheds new light on senior living search trends

HONG KONG: The adult children of seniors are often the main decision-makers when it comes to a move into senior living, but new data about how they search for senior housing can tell providers a lot about how to market to both these Baby Boomers and their parents.

Unlike their parents who have been gradually adopting technology in recent years, Boomers have long been tech-savvy in their own right.

Google, which isn’t a complete stranger to the health and aging marketplace, has within the last couple of years started to research how Boomers and seniors use the Internet.

About 75% of respondents are using search engines to find more information on senior living, most commonly Google.

There are nuances, however, in whether Boomers are researching for themselves or on someone else’s behalf, like a spouse or family member.

Most Boomers who searched online for senior living for themselves were typically looking for community and lifestyle features such as activities and events, quality of food, pets, transportation options and room sizes, according to the Google survey data.

But when looking into senior living options for a loved one, be it a spouse or other family member, search queries became more interested in finding out care types and medical services offered at communities, along with proximity to the hospital and staff-to-resident ratio.

In terms of their Internet use, Google found that Boomers were spending up to 23 hours per week online, with the majority of survey respondents using email, reading the news, shopping, leverage social networks and watching video, which commanded over 50% of respondents’ online use.

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