A Look Back at the Senior Housing Industry in 2019

Senior homes have come a long way over the past decade. They have transformed from places for nursing care to thriving communities for seniors. Public perception of senior living homes has also changed.  There was a time when the elderly were reluctant to move into a senior home. Now many people are making an active choice to move out of their home. 

No wonder investing in the senior living industry is considered a safe bet – for now, and the future [1]. Experts predict that the market for senior homes will remain strong in spite of global economic uncertainty.  There are several reasons for this outlook: 

Growing Demand

Senior citizens will comprise almost a quarter of the total Canadian population by 2030. There is a growing need for real estate that caters to the needs of the elderly. While government agencies take care of long-term care, senior living requires private funds. Investors are bound to flock to such a strong and growing segment.

Senior homes are also differentiating themselves based on the needs of the market. Some communities cater exclusively to active seniors desiring a particular lifestyle. Others are designed for the elderly with memory issues. Many homes also offer housekeeping services, catered meals, and other amenities.

Quite a few residences offer multiple options depending on the level of care and help a senior needs. For example, an active and recently retired couple may choose to live in an independent apartment with only occasional medical help. Another part of the same community may provide more services for seniors with health issues.

Changing Preferences

Public preferences for senior homes are also changing. Many seniors want to live in their own homes for as long as possible. However, a growing number of elderly prefer to move into a senior living community for a number of reasons.

  • They can live comfortably with services designed for their particular needs
  • Seniors can get proper care for health issues and help with common household tasks
  • They get to socialize with like-minded people 
  • Retired people can be a part of a community again

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that occupancy rates are up in senior homes across the country. For instance, the vacancy rate for standard senior living spaces in Quebec was at a low of 7.2% in 2019 [2]. Ontario showed similar figures with vacancy rates around 10% [3].

Advances in Technology

Consumer Health Technology

Everyone knows the technology continues to progress. The rate of change is only accelerating with new products and services practically every other day. For a long time, people thought seniors didn’t like technology or simply couldn’t adapt to using them.  The reality could not be more different.

What the public forgets is that the people in senior homes today were at the forefront of technological progress several decades earlier. Technology use among senior citizens is growing at unprecedented rates. Many seniors now have smartphones and laptops. They demand wifi and data connectivity. The elderly are using technology for:

  • Entertainment – watch movies, play games, listen to music
  • Staying in touch – with friends, family, and colleagues
  • Daily chores – banking, making reservations, and shopping
  • Healthcare – scheduling doctor visits, filling prescriptions and getting reports

Enterprise Health Technology

The senior living industry is starting to catch up on the business side as well. More suppliers are starting to offer technology specifically geared for seniors. What does this mean? Consider the life-saving technologies that Cōv offers. 

From medication reminders to integration with nurse call systems, senior homes are doing so much more for their residents with technology. If a resident pulls an emergency pendant or cord, an alert is sent instantly to staff members. 

Staff can monitor all systems from a central dashboard for effective safety and security. You can even send live video footage to the relevant staff desk to determine the nature of an emergency and take appropriate action. 

The possibilities continue to grow every day with internet-enabled devices, motion sensors, and other smart technology. Seniors can visit their doctor virtually if they cannot drive to the clinic. Sensors can alert caregivers if they have not taken their prescribed medication or miss meals. 

With tomorrow’s systems, you will even be able to take preventive action based on relevant risk factors!

The Future

The growth in the sector is not predicted to snow soon. In fact, industry analysts expect that this sector will not be affected by the Canadian economy fluctuations. It will remain strong due to the aging population and growing demand from seniors. With changing attitudes and preferences, the senior housing industry will continue to offer safe returns for the foreseeable future.



  1. https://www.canadianrealestatemagazine.ca/news/seniors-housing-touted-as-2019s-safest-investment-253040.aspx
  2. https://eppdscrmssa01.blob.core.windows.net/cmhcprodcontainer/sf/project/cmhc/pubsandreports/seniors-housing-report/2019/seniors-housing-report-quebec-65987-2019-a01-en.pdf?sv=2018-03-28&ss=b&srt=sco&sp=r&se=2021-05-07T03:55:04Z&st=2019-05-06T19:55:04Z&spr=https,http&sig=bFocHM6noLjK8rlhy11dy%2BkQJUBX%2BCDKzkjLHfhUIU0%3D
  3. https://eppdscrmssa01.blob.core.windows.net/cmhcprodcontainer/sf/project/cmhc/pubsandreports/seniors-housing-report/2019/seniors-housing-report-ontario-65981-2019-a01-en.pdf?sv=2018-03-28&ss=b&srt=sco&sp=r&se=2021-05-07T03:55:04Z&st=2019-05-06T19:55:04Z&spr=https,http&sig=bFocHM6noLjK8rlhy11dy%2BkQJUBX%2BCDKzkjLHfhUIU0%3D