You can call Baby Boomers lots of things: Ambitious. Workaholics. Optimists. Just don’t call them old.
As the generation who vowed to never trust anyone over 35 enters retirement, they’ll want to retire their own way — not the way their parents did. Don’t expect the people who went to Woodstock to sit around all day, quilting and eating pea soup.
We know the term “senior living communities” runs the gamut: active, independent places to communities with 24/7 care for seniors facing end-of-life diseases. When it comes to marketing your senior living community, you don’t have to be everything to everybody. Just as each senior is looking for something “different,” you don’t have to offer a cookie-cutter approach to care that your competition does.
Below are a few trends and examples from senior centers that know how to standout:
Focus on Luxury
The Clare in downtown Chicago touts their Gold Coast address as a sign of luxury. This independent lifestyle community appeals to an affluent market. It boasts an onsite beautician and vegetarian meal options. In fact, it’s not just selling the community — it’s selling the city of Chicago. It’s a place to retire, but still offers people the glamour of big city living.
Caring for Caregivers
Some nursing homes concentrate on end-of-life care or caring for elders with long-term health problems. For this type of market, it’s really important to reach out to caregivers. Usually, a family member will pick out a nursing home for their loved one. Are your marketing materials speaking directly to this audience? Are you showing that you’re a trusted partner? Are you providing resources and educational tools? Do you offer caregiver support groups? Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has to make the difficult decision of putting their loved one in this type of home and write copy that appeals to them.
Offer Life-Long Learning
According to PBS, there are more than 70 retirement communities in the U.S. that are tied to nearby universities. Why? It has become popular for universities to team up with real estate developers to design “university-affiliated” housing for seniors. These types of retirement communities boast many rich, educational experiences for retirees. For example, Oak Hammock at the University of Florida offers lectures and classes for retirees to attend. Even if your center isn’t near a college town, what can you do to bring in educational elements that appeal to someone’s thirst for knowledge?
Focus on Fun
Transitioning to a retirement or senior living center can be stressful. Some residents might feel like they’ve lost part of their old selves. At Sunrise Senior Living Center, there is an emphasis on defining life with a purpose. It offers programs in artistry, music and life-long learning.
Build a Community
Have you heard of The Villages? It’s a master-planned community in Florida that’s geared for older adults who want to have a good time with other people their age. The Villages offers all kinds of live entertainment, shopping and wellness opportunities. People who live here picked The Villages because they want to feel like they are part of a community — something larger than themselves. Does your senior living center make them feel the same way?