Friendship Village Tempe Leads the Way in Tech Expansion

As the nation’s 11th largest Life Plan Community, creating a meaningful retirement for the young-at-heart includes providing technology that helps seniors feel young. Here at Friendship Village Tempe, Chief Information Officer Travis Saunders and his team are tasked each day with the challenge of ensuring the community stays “wired” for all things tech.

“Seniors are growing more connected, not the other way around,” said Saunders. “A large campus combined with increasing technology needs makes for an exciting behind-the-scenes set up.”

Research indicates that 40 percent of seniors now own a smartphone, and nearly 70 percent use the internet.

“We know tech is going to continue to be a ‘must-have’ for current and future residents,” Saunders noted. “Our campus is quite large, so we’ve spent a lot of time ensuring we’re connected from top to bottom.”

Chief information officers were once employed almost exclusively outside the field of senior living, but the 21st century and retiring Baby Boomers have changed that.

“We live in a time where it’s essential for a community to employ someone like Travis,” said Cole Marvin, Friendship Village’s executive director. “Tech is no longer value added. It’s expected value.”

Friendship Village is Wi-Fi accessible and offers many tech-related activities and amenities to residents, who enjoy life on a 46 acre campus.