Ensuring safe and fulfilling aging in place for a growing population

We explored demographic and social trends that influence how older adults are choosing to live out their retirement years, and what this means for families.

By 2030 older adults will represent over 20% of the population.

Annually, Nationwide serves millions of adults over the age of 65. This population will double by 2030.

Nationwide Insurance leads the U.S. in public sector retirement plans, with additional strong product offerings in annuities, life insurance, and mutual funds. Our team partnered with  Nationwide to improve the aging in place experience for a growing population of older adults and their children.

85% of adults aged 65+ want to age in place.

However, medical support to age in place is increasingly unavailable.

While the vast majority of older adults want to age in their own homes, resources to ensure a safe and fulfilling aging in place experience are available to fewer and fewer people. In 2018, just 6% of Americans age 50+ had long-term care insurance; meanwhile, annual premium costs are becoming prohibitive and fewer insurers are offering these plans.

Adult children want to ensure their parents’ wellbeing; however, the silence is deafening.

Parents' unwillingness to discuss their health and plans to age in place creates a deafening silence.

Many aging adults living independently only see their grown children periodically. For their busy children, often with careers and families of their own, it is challenging to keep an eye on their parents’ wellbeing from a distance. Oftentimes this is done remotely and verbally, which requires a delicate dance of strategic, indirect conversations.

Senior wellness products miss the mark for both parties.

Throughout generative research, design, and evaluation, we analyzed over 50 competitive products in the space of senior wellness monitoring, family communication, and care coordination.

Most are obtrusive, privacy-invading, and remind seniors of their declining health. Even when adopted, monitoring technologies do not meet adult children’s needs around seeing their parents' condition for themselves, or encouraging their parents to maintain their wellbeing.


We identified an opportunity to meet the needs of both aging adults and their families.

After all, healthy aging in place starts with the family.


"I'm not ready for the rocking chair"

We are designing for retired or semi-retired aging adults. They live independently, alone or with a partner, and are cognitively capable. Their health status ranges from a clean slate to chronic managed issues.


"He won't tell me what's going on"

Our primary design audience is aging adults' children. Many of them live out-of-state from their parents. While their parents may not yet meet the threshold for assisted living, they remain concerned about their day-to-day wellbeing and want to be there from afar.


Across 7 months we conducted research with 150+ aging adults and adult children to design a radically new experience in family care.