It isn't a technology solution. It is decidedly low-tech. It's not a medical device, but it does ease suffering. And while we sometimes joke about hoarding, older adults are buried in stuff - the accumulation of a lifetime (or two). The resistance to letting go of it is an enormous issue for caregivers, senior living providers and aging in place experts. Of all of the issues of caregiving, this one is the gift that literally keeps on giving.
Riding a southbound Amtrak train home to New York last Sunday night, I was asked by the passenger next to me about a whale watching video I was posting on Facebook. I told her I'd just spent a most memorable weekend reconnecting with a college friend, Michelle, I hadn't seen in 30 years. On Saturday, we'd visited Gloucester, a small fishing town on Massachusetts' North Shore, where we ate, shopped, explored and went whale watching, my virgin experience doing so.
Recent research from BuzzStream and Fractl on generational use of content tells us that the #1 content form that Boomers share is video, and they share video content more than either GenXers or Millennials. If you are trying to reach Boomers (or any consumer over 45), you'd better make video a part of your plan.
Today, the oldest Boomers are 70. The core needs and maturational changes in values, views and behaviors of 70-year-old Boomers are not materially different from those of 70-year-olds in the past. Boomers' differences from previous generations are more differences of style than of substance.
He hasn't walked over a cliff or discovered any dead bodies, but Paul, a Pokemon Go aficionado, has ignored important phone calls, struck up conversations with complete strangers, and even tried driving while playing. (He doesn't recommend that last one, calling it "perilous.")
The marketing landscape today bares little similarity to that of the 1970s, yet, through the dawn of digital and proliferation of new channels, one element has remained consistent: the focus on consumers between ages 18 and 49.
For most of the recent past, when you thought about health care for people over 50, a few images came to mind. Mostly managing chronic illness and helping to keep sick people alive. Our grandparents' frequent trips to the doctor were often consumed with pain management and dealing with the negative results of the aging process. They'd go from specialist to specialist, getting treated for chronic diseases until they died or became too sick to care for themselves. A depressing prospect for those of us who just crossed the line into the 50 - 64 demographic.
Contemporary theories of marketing are increasingly defined in the context of collaborative relationships between a marketer and customers that operate on behalf of meeting needs of the latter. But honoring this idea is often problematic because a continuing focus on sales quotas pressure marketing and sales staff to concentrate more on making deals than on helping people meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations.
Language in the mature market space can be a minefield, with words like "senior" and "aging" getting a strong negative response.
I can't help but think that as a generation we are blowing it. Politically. We now have two candidates - squarely of the Baby Boomer generation and neither is talking about the aging of America. Why aren't we holding them accountable for that? Why hasn't the generation that created a "movement" for every cause taken up the cause of our own aging?