Report: There's a Perception Gap When It Comes to Senior Living

A new, first-of-its-kind report captures and compares the perspectives of professionals working within the senior living industry, as well as older adults who are potential customers or residents.

Released by the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) and Age of Majority (AoM), the landmark report, “Unlocking the Future: Closing the Gap Between Consumer Expectations and Community Offerings in Senior Living,” uncovers a notable disparity in perceptions between senior living managers and staff, who view their communities as positive, fun, healthy, entertaining and vibrant, and adults aged 40-plus, who tend to perceive senior living environments as old, depressing safe, and boring. This significant disconnect highlights the need for a deeper understanding of the expectations and desires of potential residents.

The report explores the critical issue of aligning current offerings in the senior living industry with the evolving needs and expectations of prospective residents to help identify opportunities for actionable steps and strategic planning within the industry.

To facilitate this understanding, the report explores five key sub-themes:

  • The disconnect in perceptions: Examining the gap between how senior living communities see themselves and how potential residents perceive them.
  • The draw of “autonomous” living: Investigating the appeal of independence among older adults and its impact on their choices in senior living.
  • Overshadowing lifestyle realities: Identifying how negative perceptions can overshadow the true benefits and opportunities within senior living communities.
  • The amenities gap: Highlighting the mismatch between amenities offered by senior living communities and those desired by potential residents.
  • The perception-desire duality in health and wellness: Exploring contrasting views between the perceived health and wellness offerings of senior living and the actual desires of prospective residents.

The report serves as a resource for the senior living industry. By addressing the identified disparities, senior living providers can enhance their services and better cater to the evolving needs and desires of older adults.