“What’s Next” for Senior Living?

Jan 3, 2017 | Executive Corner

Consumer Electronics Show and International Builders Show to Shed Insights

By Rob Love, President, CEO

PrintAs another year begins, we find ourselves asking, “What’s next”?

More specifically, “What’s next for senior living?” At Love & Company, that’s a question that clients often ask us, and that we even more frequently ask of ourselves. And it is increasingly growing in importance.

While I love the senior living field, we do tend to follow trends more than set them, and in many cases we follow well behind the trend leaders—not so much by choice or intent, but by a development and finance process that is slow and arduous, and that limits our flexibility to respond quickly to changing market dynamics.

This is going to need to change. With the immense number of boomers who in just five years will be entering the traditional age range for senior living, and with the massive investment being made in ways to either enable seniors to stay in their homes, or to create dynamic living environments that appeal to empty nesters, senior living communities will need to reinvent themselves or be left behind.

National Demographics

In this spirit, I’m going to be doing something new myself early in the New Year. In the first week of January, I’m going to attend the huge Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and in the second week, I’m going to attend the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders Show (IBS) in Orlando.

Each of these conferences has much to offer the senior living field. The CES is, of course, the show where the latest in technology is unveiled. If you think of CES as the place to go to see the latest personal gaming technology or smartphones, you’re right, but you’re also missing major facets of the show.

CES is split into three major components spread out over four separate expo centers and numerous adjoining conference centers.

Tech East is what you tend to hear about the most: gaming, virtual reality, iProducts, drones, cyber security and ecommerce. While exciting, I don’t expect to set foot in that part of the show.

Tech West doesn’t generate as many headlines, but it’s where a lot of advances will be that can directly impact senior living: fitness and health and wellness technology, wearable technology, smart homes, accessibility, and even robotics. Tech West is where I expect to spend all three days that I’m there, including attending two education tracks: one focusing on lifestyle technology, and one on smart home technology.

As for Tech South, this is the venue for advertising, content, entertainment and marketing, and ironically, I—as a marketer—have no intent to go there. While there’s no doubt that there will be great new products and tools unveiled, I’m much more interested in what we can apply to our field.

While the CES show is focused more on the future, the International Builders Show (IBS) is focused more on the here and now. What building materials and techniques can and should we be using today? If we are planning a building to be built in three to five years, what should we be planning to include in it? These are some of the questions the IBS will address as the newest advancements in building technology are presented.

Did you know that solar cells built into glass, which can be used in windows, walls, skylights and atriums, are up to 50 times more efficient than the solar panels you see on roofs? Imagine what we can do for our power needs—as well as increasing light in residences and public areas—by utilizing such technology.

Power efficiency is just one opportunity! Sustainable materials, design trends, home technology and more will be on display. The IBS, recognizing the growing demand for modern senior housing, also has a major focus on 55+ housing, including a session on the next generation of active adult communities—which will have major repercussions on senior living.

Do you want to follow along as I explore these two exciting conferences? Here’s another new thing I’m doing: Tweeting. I will be posting regular updates on new and exciting things I see at each conference. Please follow along on twitter @LoveandCompanyLinkedIn, or Facebook. I look forward to hearing your reactions and comments.

To read my thoughts on smart home technology seen at the Consumer Electronics Show, click here.

To read my thoughts on wearable technology seen at the Consumer Electronics Show, click here.

To read my final thoughts on the Consumer Electronics Show, click here.

To read my expectations for the 2017 International Builders Show, click here.

To read my first thoughts on the International Builders Show, click here.

To learn what my favorite product at the International Builders Show was, click here.

To learn more about the International Builders Show and how to prepare for next year’s conference, click here.

To read my final overview and thoughts about my time at both the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show and the International Builders Show, click here.

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