Leaders Summit 2016: What the “Screen Age” Means for Aged Care

In the last eight years we’ve entered the “Great Screen Age”, according to research firm, McCrindle. In addition to the home computer screen, portable screens have flourished and become a dominant presence in people’s lives.

Principal, Mark McCrindle spoke at Leaders Summit 2016, an aged care conference in Sydney where BTAS was a Gold Sponsor. He shared results from past and present McCrindle Baynes Villages Census Reports, which looked at how residents and their children make their decisions about aged care, and where they go for information.

In addition to the reports, McCrindle started a national pen and paper survey in 2011. Indicative of its target demographic, the survey was completed by 10,500 respondents, which made it not only the largest survey conducted in the aged care sector, but also the largest pen and paper survey Australia wide.

The YouTube generation

The research firm has been doing research into the aged care sector since 2008. What has changed over the years are the ways Australian consumers are influenced, as well as the content they consume to make a decision.

Younger consumers have already shifted from consuming print to digital to video, with YouTube dethroning Google as the number one search engine for Generation Z. A similar trend is taking place with older users, with older age groups preferring to watch a video instead of reading an article about it.

McCrindle’s research found that almost all residents have looked at online videos prior to making their decision, which makes it a key platform for providers to communicate. Mobile screens have also become a dominant and key channel for content consumption and decision making.

Power to the consumer

New communication channels have emerged over the years and empowered consumers with more choice. It has also created a more sophisticated decision maker, which in turn has encouraged providers to strengthen their value propositions.

As consumers have become savvier, McCrindle has seen the aged care sector mature along with them. For example, providers have shifted their messaging around offering a lifestyle to focusing on wellbeing.

When McCrindle started research into aged care in 2008, Australia’s population was 21 million and there were 2.6 million Australians aged over 65. Now the population is 24 million and the aged segment has grown by almost 35% to 3.5 million.

This is not only significant demographic growth, but it has led to a generational change. Back in 2008 the decision makers were typically baby boomers considering care for their parents, but now they are Generation X and some of the older Generation Y.

McCrindle’s 2010 study found that the age which people move into aged care is significantly older than people typically imagine, with people in their 60s being passive, 70s are decision reluctant, and 80s are decision urgent. As a result, it is often the “push factor” of life events that brings a resident to a village, and not the “pull factor” of the village itself.

Performance without the downtime

What McCrindle’s research shows is that Australians are becoming increasingly digital, and this also holds true for the older generation. More than ever, aged Australians are dependent on the Internet and expect similar levels of availability as other utilities, such as electricity and gas.

Aged care workers are also reliant on technology to help them provide a high level of service to residents. As the number of aged Australian continues to grow, while the number of aged care workers continues to shrink, technology will play an even bigger role at facilities.    

Aged care facilities can meet the needs of both residents and workers with fast and reliable technology infrastructure. BTAS Connect can bring fast fibre-powered WAN and Internet powered to your village, while BTAS Network is end-to-end network management for peace of mind.

Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality video content to the web within minutes. High speed broadband also means you don’t need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.

BTAS Network is designed to not only manage your network, but also secure it. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) will proactively monitor your network, ensuring you remained focused on running your village and not distracted by the running of technology.

Contact us today to find out how BTAS Connect and BTAS Network can enable your business.

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