Nearly half of all homes sold in 2014 were to homebuyers above the age of 50, according to the National Association of Realtors, and these new startups aim to tap into that massive market.
Boomers are living longer than previous generations, so it is a necessity for developers to figure out how to accommodate seniors who deal with a range of mobility or health issues.
“It’s all about the quality of life for the aging population. The end goal of this tech is to provide the populations with the ability to live independently while maintaining their connection to family,” says aging in place expert Helen Heneveld.
Three new startups aim to assist developers when designing a TecHome for clients 50 and up, who may not be familiar with tech but still rely on it for safety and convenience.
Boomer desire to age in place, instead of moving into senior housing, has never been higher.
According to a 2013 Demand Institute Housing Survey, 75 percent of boomers rank the ability to age in place higher than specific home features, a good sign for developers.
Aging in place is a good selling tool, not just for seniors, but also for their families who want to monitor their elderly family members remotely and conveniently.
“The convenience is not necessarily as much of a priority for seniors, while the health monitoring is. But what I think is really missing is the tie-in to families using video chat,” says Heneveld.
New startups that could change aging in place and the way developers sell to older clients:
The K4 system is built around two major concepts that drive Boomers’ lives—convenience and health. Heneveld says systems that focus on health and convenience are just the first step.
The K4 system keeps tabs on usage, meaning that homebuyers can track energy usage as well as weight loss when connected to a smart scale like the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Scale.
The system uses a K4 Central Hub to control everything electric, allowing the homebuyer or a family member to control the home from smartphones or tablets. Developers can even include tablets as an add-on when installing the system for older clients who may not yet be tech-savvy. But it’s likely at this point, they are.
The system must be professionally installed and integration is made simple with a range of popular supported devices like Nest and Belkin.