Digital Seniors: The Coming Wave

The most meaningful, groundbreaking revolution in senior living over the next ten years will be the dramatic increase in digitally enabled Senior Citizens, what we call “Digital Seniors”.

This new wave of Digital Seniors, fully participating in myriad apps and technologies, will create dynamic change in how services are procured and provided to Seniors.

Furthermore, this technical explosion will pressure senior living communities to adapt to new Digital Senior expectations. 

Two major trends are driving the increase in Digital Seniors:

1. Greater adoption by people already over the age of 65.
2. As current users age, non-seniors “graduate” into the Digital Senior category.

senior citizen using phone

Currently, 40 million Americans are 65 or older. Of those 40 million, 18.5 million (46%) have smartphones1. This compares to 88% of Americans under the age of 65 having smartphones.

Projecting growth in smartphone usage,  we expect the following:


We project by 2030 the Digital Senior smartphone market will have grown to 54 million, a growth of 191%.

A common, mistaken perception is that seniors will stay focused on current popular apps for seniors, such as FaceTime, texting, email, etc.

But as people from younger demographics graduate into Digital Seniors, they will bring along their technical/app skills and propensities and usage rates.

This 191% increase in the number of digitally enables seniors will dramatically alter the landscape of how they access and use services like:

  • Transportation
  • Medicine
  • Medical care
  • Groceries
  • Dining and meals
  • Social interaction and connection
  • Finance
  • Retirement Living
  • Travel
  • Adult Children monitoring

For now, COVID-19 is accelerating smartphone adoption.

New, fast growing, COVID-driven tech solutions include:

  • Connecting with family and friends (Zoom, FaceTime, Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.)
  • Having access to virtual medical care (MDLIVE, Lemonaide, LiveHealth, PlushCare)
  • Being able to order deliverable products and services (Uber Eats, GoPuff, PostMates, Instacart)
  • Using app-driven transportation (Uber, Lyft, etc.)
  • Keeping tabs on financial information (Capital One, Bank of America, Robinhood, Acorns)
  • Using adult children-enabled apps that facilitate monitoring of nutrition and ensuring ongoing engagement, particularly for Digital Seniors with potential memory issues.

The new wave of Digital Seniors is here. The adoption of smartphones and smart technology will greatly improve the life of Seniors and fulfill countless needs regarding health, transportation, deliverables, etc.

The FullCount POS for Senior Living integrates online ordering and online reservations for communities. Digital Seniors will appreciate this not only because of its efficiency, but their ability to social distance with convenience.

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