Retirement Care Buyer’s Journey

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Your residence’s digital presence acts as an important support for prospective residents through each stage of their purchase decision; in this case, their decision to choose you as their care provider. Click here to learn more about The Buyer’s Journey from Hubspot.   

Below, we’re going to explore each of the stages of the Senior Living Buyer’s Journey, and discuss how you can optimize your content to reach your ideal residents at each stage. 

In each of the following stages, reviews help ease feelings of uncertainty and worry, while simultaneously instilling a sense of confidence about your residence:  


After realizing a need for care, clients will begin their senior living provider search. At this stage, your goal isn’t to immediately book a sales call and start the move-in process. Early on, you’ll want to position your residence as a trustworthy authority in the senior living space and deliver value to the people who are discovering your services for the first time.  

This can be done by creating educational online content that answers the following questions:  

How might seniors, their loved ones, or senior living professionals seeking care on someone’s behalf describe their goals or challenges? 

  • Are your prospective residents or their advocates looking for a specific type of care or particular amenities?  Creating content focused on what your residence has to offer can ease these concerns and allow potential clients to start building a positive image of your residence.  

How are seniors educating themselves about their care options? 

  • 75% of senior living consumers use search engines to find out more about their options (Google, 2015). Developing educational guides and prioritizing your residence’s SEO strategy can help you show up in the search results of your prospective clients ahead of your competitors. 

What are the consequences of not finding the right senior care provider?  

  • While this question may seem obvious to care providers, people beginning their senior care research for the first time are likely to have a few blind spots. Having reviews present on third-party platforms like, Google, across your social media channels and on your website can help clients gain this insight and ease their concerns earlier into the process. 

What common misconceptions might seniors or their families have about retirement care? 

  • Being proactive about dispelling negative perceptions about senior living works to support a healthy brand image for your residence. Consider creating content to address specific negative press coverage or to show how your care facility is routinely going above and beyond for your residents. In addition, it’s vital to be responsive to poor or critical reviews if your residence has received any. Click here to learn more about responding to negative feedback online.  


As prospective residents move through their decision-making journey, seniors and their families or advocates are clarifying their goals and expectations for the care they require. What you’ll need to do as a care provider is understand how your ideal residents have come to these conclusions. Consider the following questions to help guide your residence’s digital marketing plan:  

What types of senior care solutions will prospective clients and their loved ones be researching? 

  • The solutions your ideal residents may be looking into will be based on their care needs, budget, personality, and preferences. Ensuring that you’re sharing content like photos or reviews from existing clients about your residence can help future clients imagine themselves staying with you.  

How do prospective residents, their loved ones or senior living advisors perceive the pros and cons of each type of care or residence? 

  • As an example, for some seniors staying on budget will outweigh other factors like recreational programming or available amenities. Knowing this can help you choose which content about your residence will be most valuable to the people searching for you. Reviews from existing residents can inform the expectations seniors and their loved ones have about your residence, during the move-in process, and for the entire length of their stay with you.    

How do seniors decide what’s right for them?  

  • 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal, 2020), while just 4% trust paid spokespersons or ads, to guide their buying decisions (Inc, 2019). This gives finding and reading through unbiased personal experiences the ability to tip the scales in your residence’s favor. Platforms like function as an unbiased place for senior living reviews, and by being developed specially for the senior living industry, your residence’s listing is automatically placed in front of an audience of your ideal clients.  


Congratulations! Your commitment to your residence’s digital strategy has paid off, and you’ve got a new resident—almost.  At this stage, seniors will begin to rigorously compare their care options and providers before they make the leap into a long-term commitment. The last set of questions your residence’s website or social media channels should consider answering are:  

What criteria do seniors use to evaluate their care options? 

  • Prospective residents and their loved ones are likely to use different criteria to evaluate your residence than senior living professionals (Senior Living Advisors, social workers, or hospital discharge coordinators). Making and sharing content targeted toward these two distinct groups of people can help address concerns across the senior care spectrum. 

When prospective residents or their families find our residence and services, what do they like about it compared to other care providers? What concerns might they have? 

  • With the help of resident feedback, you’ll be able to begin identifying your biggest strengths as a care provider. Whether that’s your location, programming, amenities or food service—you'll likely already be better at something than your competitors. Take pride in these best-in-class and show them off on your social media, Cared Upon listing and your website.  

Who needs to be involved in the decision to seek care? How does each person’s (the senior, their family members, advocates, or other senior living professionals) perspective on the decision differ? 

  • A variety of factors, including the level of care required, proximity to loved ones or specialty clinics, or the urgency of care will influence who the key decision makers are for this process. Choosing a senior living provider is one of the most important decisions a family will make—ensuring that the content you make and share about your residence is accessible, high-quality and sharable set decision-makers up for success. 

Becoming Advocates

There’s only two things left for you to do now:  

  1. Provide the ‘wow experiences’ your new residents have read about online 
  2. Encourage them to share their experience! 

Distributing reviews far and wide across your online presence can help your residence generate even more leads. Places like your business’ website, Facebook Page, Google Listing and third-party platforms like Cared Upon, work together to create a credible image for your residence. Click here's how these online review sources can benefit you in a little more detail.