Emeritus Expands Digital Resources as Senior Internet Usage Rises

Jan 29, 2014, 11:04 ET from Emeritus Senior Living

SEATTLE, Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As the number of people 65 and above using the Internet increases, the nation's largest assisted living and memory care provider continues to expand its digital resources. After launching a first-of-its-kind web video series for that demographic and piloting a social networking app, Emeritus Senior Living has now unveiled a newly designed website. 

Fifty-three percent of Americans 65 and over now use the Internet, with 70% of those doing so daily, according to a 2012 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Researchers noted the data "represented the first time that half of seniors are going online. After several years of very little growth among this group, these gains are significant."

This phenomena's impact has been evident at Emeritus. Inquiries through www.Emeritus.com and resulting community tours rose by 20% and 30% respectively last year compared to 2012. The number of people who first contacted Emeritus via the website and then moved into an Emeritus community jumped 40% during that time. Establishment of the Emeritus Family Advocate Team, which responds to those submitting questions of any kind through the website, factored significantly in the increase.

"These numbers tell us that making resources easily available on our website and moving quickly to answer contacts we receive through the site are important – both for our business and as a service to seniors and families in search of information," said Jayne Sallerson, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Emeritus Senior Living.

With an analysis showing that the majority of visitors to Emeritus.com seek details on Emeritus Senior Living community locations and services, Emeritus redesigned its website's homepage to make the information more accessible. In addition, it increased the prominence of the search bar and made it available on all pages. The role of video was also increased.

"With web video viewership skyrocketing, we wanted to make our extensive library of resources available," Sallerson said. She noted that a recent study shows that web viewers spend 250% more time watching videos that are personally relevant. "We have such a wide range of videos by experts on all aspects of senior living and care. They cover issues that are crucial to health, safety and well-being, and we would like people to benefit from them," Sallerson said.

Among the videos featured on the homepage is the "Meddling Maude" series, which Emeritus launched late last year. It serves as a lighthearted launching point for broaching difficult topics with aging loved ones, such as when to stop driving and watching out for scammers preying on the elderly.  Its central character, an animated character named Maude, gives out advice in a good-natured manner that can defuse tensions surrounding serious family conversations.

Also in 2013, Emeritus debuted the "My Emeritus" app, the first of its kind built specifically for the iPad, which is designed to make social networking and e-mailing easier for seniors. Key components include a secure by-invitation feature addressing seniors' privacy concerns, e-mail, video chat and photo sharing, all simple to manage. The app, piloted at eight Emeritus communities, has quickly been adopted by hundreds of residents and the company plans to expand this capability to its other communities.

"It's wonderful to see our residents and seniors in general becoming more involved in the Internet and discovering how it can connect them to information, resources, family, friends and new opportunities," Sallerson said.  "We're very excited about doing what we can to further this process."

About Emeritus Senior Living

Emeritus Senior Living is the largest assisted living and memory care provider in the United States, with the ability to serve nearly 54,000 residents. More than 31,000 employees support approximately 510 communities throughout 45 states coast to coast. Emeritus offers the spectrum of senior residential choices, care options, and life enrichment programs that fulfill individual needs and promote purposeful living during the aging process. Senior living service offerings include independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, home health care, and rehabilitation services. Emeritus experts provide insights on senior living, care, wellness, brain health, and family topics at www.emeritus.com, which also offers details on the organization's family-focused philosophy and services. Emeritus' common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ESC.

Contact: Audrey Knoth / Scott McCaskey, 1-757-625-2518

SOURCE Emeritus Senior Living