Older Adults Don’t Trust Social Media Reviews of Senior Housing

Older adults live in variety of settings prior to senior housing and 65% of all adults moving into senior living are moving from their home, according to a recent survey from Caring.com. Findings also suggest that social media may not be an effective channel for targeting those looking to make a move.

About 17% of people came into senior living from previously living with relatives and 15% moved from a different senior living community.

“We were shocked at the high number of seniors who moved from other communities,” Katie Roper, vice president of sales at Caring.com told SHN. “The number was so much higher than we expected but we didn’t really ask the appropriate follow up questions about what drove it.”


But the way seniors are choosing which communities they move into brings up some interesting findings about seniors and technology use. Older adults are using social media sites, but are skeptical of how reliable the information is. Those surveyed don’t trust Yelp or Facebook when it comes to reviews on senior living communities. Only 12% of seniors trust Yelp for reviews and 2% trust Facebook, according to the survey.

Almost half of all seniors trust senior care or senior housing-specific review sites the most.

“There’s an increasing perception among slightly older people that you can game the system online and Yelp and Facebook aren’t necessarily reliable sources for information,” Roper says. “Basically, if you want to influence consumer decision making, don’t use Facebook or Yelp.”


The reasons behind seniors’ decisions to move into senior housing is mostly because of a medical condition, the survey found. Last year, the percentage of seniors moving because of medical conditions was around the 60%, but now is up to 71%.

Despite all the efforts the industry is making, health conditions are still the biggest driver of people moving into senior housing.

Following at a close second for reasons people are moving into senior communities safety concerns at 70% followed by transportation and mobility at 37%. Surprisingly, the percentage of seniors moving into senior communities because of loneliness or the death of a spouse were about 12% and 11%, respectively.

Other findings from the study includes how long seniors are taking to choose a community. One third of people made the decision immediately and one third made it within six months, but this does closely tie to the medical conditions, because if someone isn’t well, they may need to make a decision faster.

Written by Alana Stramowski

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