In These Tech-Savvy Cities, It Pays to Age at Home

Older adults who want to stay in their homes longer can use smartphone apps and save money—particularly in a select group of U.S. cities, according to a new ranking by Redfin.

Real estate company Redfin compiled a list of The 10 Best Cities for Technology-Assisted Living, noting that, in certain areas, it may be cheaper to receive home health care and other maintenance services available through a smartphone.

Redfin noted that nearly 90% of adults 65 and older want to stay in their homes as long as possible, according to a report from the National Conference of State Legislators and AARP Public Policy Institute.

With the emergence of new tech services, seniors are living more independent lives in their own homes, and senior living providers should take notice. Redfin found many of these services are comparable to those in an assisted living community.

“An elderly woman can take an Uber to her friend’s home, find someone to walk her dog through, schedule her lawn to be mowed or her house to be cleaned through Porch, get groceries delivered through Instacart and schedule a professional caregiver to assist with bathing, meal preparation and other daily living activities through CareLinx,” the Redfin ranking states.

With these options readily available, more older adults may find they can stay at home longer. However, the affordability of doing so ranged widely depending on the place, and many cities are not served by these businesses, Redfin found.

“…When you compare the cost of a mortgage with the cost of assisted living facilities, in some cases it can make more financial sense to use those services and age in place, rather than move to a facility, depending on the level of care required of course,” said Nela Richardson, Redfin chief economist.

Redfin ranked the top 10 best tech-enabled cities where seniors will spend less on services and their mortgage than moving into an assisted living facility.

1. Washington, D.C

2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

3. Chicago, Illinois

4. Austin, Texas

5. Houston, Texas

6. Boston, Massachusetts

7. Miami, Florida

8. Denver, Colorado

9. Atlanta, Georgia

10. Portland, Oregon

Redfin measured the median month mortgage payment in different cities and compared these expenses with the average monthly fee for assisted living facilities with data from Metlife. The company also identified the techiest cities by measuring five services: Uber, Rover, Porch, Instacart and CareLinx. Only 14 cities of the 52 Redfin measured met this mark.

“There are plenty of other companies that provide similar services, but we felt those five companies were good bellwethers for a city’s overall techiness; if a city has all five options, chances are it has a range of technology-based services,” the Redfin authors wrote.

Written by Amy Baxter