Analysts and investors have been trumpeting the significant growth prospects for seniors housing with the aging baby boomer generation’s 72 million people born between 1946 and 1964. Developers and senior-housing companies have spent billions of dollars over the five years to build communities that provide housing, food, medical care and support the elderly.
An article in the Wall Street Journal reports that the big bet on elder care is falling short of expectations and may the biggest real estate recalculation in recent memory. So what happened? It turns out that the rise of technology that helps the elderly stay in their homes is upending the senior housing bet. These “aging-in-place” technologies are enabling seniors to enjoy similar living standards and access to care in their own home. New products and services include sensors that respond to a range of medical conditions, facial recognition for identifying visitors and houses with malleable fixtures that can be adjusted as residents age. It is also likely that we are only at the front end of breakthrough home technologies which will further erode mom and pop moving out of the house and into a Pleasantville community.