Will boomers spend more on assisted living or staying in their home?

I am a senior and I talk to many seniors since I live in an over 55 development and belong to many senior groups.  The recent article below suggests that seniors may spend more on, among other things, assisted living.

This does NOT correspond to what I hear from seniors.  Most of them want desperately to stay in their own home.  They are either counting on their children to take care of them or they’re planning to hire help to come to their home.

Thus, if I were going to invest in or research any of these sectors, it would be home health care.

Merrill Lynch recently published "The End of Old," a report on what it terms the "longevity economy." The study's insights reveal how a new generation of retiring Americans is likely to transform how we live, work and spend. 

With 78 million people on the cusp of retirement, insiders expect consumer markets to bend over backward to accommodate this massive generation of spenders. One expert said he anticipates baby boomers are likely to spend more to maintain their active lifestyles than any previous generation in history. Industries likely to benefit from the longevity boom include:

  • Long-term care - home health workers and assisted-living facilities
  • Real estate - "Smart homes" using technology 
  • Technology - Service robots  housework --even provide companionship
  • Beauty - Anti-aging treatments
  • Medical technology - telemedicine apps that let physicians & families monitor health data of older people in their homes

Companionship online? Stitch & Tapestry

This article is from  Sunrise Senior Living .  I can relate to it since  my friends are either moving to be near their children, or they’re dying.  Either way I need to find new friends… not romances but companions with similar interests.  I have been doing some testing with Stitch and can’t wait till it’s available!

From the Sunrise article:

Seniors will soon have new ways to connect with loved ones and make new friends online, thanks to two websites. One service, Tapestry, allows older adults who have trouble with technology to stay in touch with family members who use multiple social networks. The other, soon to launch, is called Stitch and is described as a way for seniors to find companionship.

Keeping in touch
Tapestry works by connecting all of a user's social networks and email accounts to their Tapestry profile, according to its website. Everything they receive online can then be found in one place. That way, seniors don't have to remember multiple passwords and switch between different websites to keep up with their loved ones.

According to The Atlantic, Andrew Dowling, Tapestry's founder, realized when visiting senior communitiesthat his service was not providing everything older adults needed.

"In one community in northern California, we were asked 'Do you know who's single here?' about half a dozen times," Dowling told the news source. "This got us thinking that technology to help people connect to their existing families is really only part of the battle. Just as important is helping them find companionship as they age."

Building new bonds
To make finding companions easier, Dowling created a new service called Stitch. The website has been described in the media as a dating site for seniors. Though Dowling said that the description is inaccurate, he also enjoys the attention it has garnered. Stitch is actually meant as a simple way to connect people with common interests who may not have wide social groups.

Five hearing tech announcements that could benefit older adultsPosted: 12 Sep 2016 07:20 AM PDTHearing technology advances -- the hearing aid industry considers changing. It’s a positive when you see disruption of industries that have too tight a lock on the consumer, whether it is in categories of health insurancetelecom carriers or hearing aids.  You spend time with people everywhere you go – those with significant hearing loss but no hearing aids; they have hearing aids, but hate to wear them.  According to a recent NY Times article, two-thirds of adults over 70, but only 15-30% of those wear them – and at $5000 a pair, no wonder. In recent years, personal sound amplification products(PSAPs) that are not classified as hearing aids and thus do not require the audiologist role, though the FDA may change that. Just asking, if the device is called a 'Wearable,' does Silicon Valley find it more worthy of funding?  But anyway. In July, Consumer Reports published an explanatory guide that should be required reading for organizations that serve older adults. It would seem to be the wild west of innovation.  Here is a sampling of five recent product announcements:ReSound. The firm "introduced a new model to the award-winning ReSound LiNX2™ family: the world's only mini behind-the-ear (BTE) model to feature Made for iPhone. In addition, the mini BTE also features telecoil capabilities. ReSound LiNX2 is the world’s first internet-connected hearing aid, connecting to the internet to locate misplaced hearing aids. This new model enhances the award-winning ReSound Smart Hearing portfolio, giving users even more choices to meet individual preferences and hearing loss needs." Learn more at Resound.Oticon. 

"Technological limitations of current hearing aids have led to the use of tunnel directionality: Speech coming from the front is clear, whereas the rest of the sound environment is suppressed. This results in a limited, narrowed and artificial listening experience. With new, groundbreaking technology, Oticon Opn™ is fast and precise enough to analyse and follow the soundscape and differentiate between sounds. Even in complex listening environments, this allows Oticon Opn™ to constantly open up and balance individual sounds to deliver a rich and meaningful soundscape, empowering the brain to choose on which sounds to focus." Learn more at Oticon.

Silicon Valley based startup that "offers an entry-level rechargeable hearing aid (FDA class I medical device) that it sells directly to consumers. Eargo is a near-invisible in-the-canal device offering four volume settings. Developed by a French ENT, it features patented silicone “flexi-fibers” that enable the device to sit comfortably deep in the ear canal while letting air and natural sound flow freely to the eardrum. At $1,980 per pair, the Eargo hearing aids are more expensive than many of the new off-the shelf “hearables” (classified as personal sound amplification products, or PSAPs, by the FDA), but less expensive than the higher end hearing aids fitted by audiologists." Learn more at

 "Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, announces today it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its newest innovative hearing loss solution, Kanso. The Kanso Sound Processor provides a distinct new way for cochlear implant users to hear. Unlike most hearing aids and current cochlear implant sound processors that are worn on the ear, Kanso is a small, off-the-ear hearing device  that provides a more discreet hearing solution and delivers the same hearing experience as a behind-the-ear sound processor." Learn more at Cochlear.

 "iHear® Medical announced today the launch of the world’s first online hearing solutions platform. The company begins taking orders today for its flagship invisible iHEARHD® hearing aid, and the iHearTest™, which recently received landmark FDA approval as the first and only home hearing screener. Delivery of iHear products starts July 15, 2016. The company also plans to launch the iHEARMAX™, a mini behind-the-ear hearing device, on August 15, 2016. iHear’s products are currently being offered in the U.S., with plans to introduce them in China and other markets in 2017." Learn more at iHearMedical.