Tackling the technology generation gap
Technology companies, ours included, are always talking about the next generation of this or the next generation of that. Innovation is critical and has advanced our society, but I want to make sure we don't forget about the current generation of seniors who are at risk for depression, functional decline and even premature death because of digital isolation.
The average age of today's CCRC resident may be in the early 80s, but these folks are feisty and hungry for knowledge and interaction – and they need it, especially if their families and friends live long distances away. And let's remember that they chose to move into a retirement community to live not die, so it's time to offer them more living options. Seniors in long-term care settings need meaningful connections and experiences plus access to all of the valuable information that's available from the outside world. These are key amenities and transformative elements for the residents and their communities.
I can't tell you how angry I get when I see reports about Internet use among older adults “ramping up” to 53%. That number should be 100%, which means we shouldn't rest or boast because millions of seniors are still disconnected. Our “Greatest Generation,” those who survived the Great Depression and went on to fight in or support World War II on the domestic front to ensure we enjoy the freedoms and conveniences of this modern day, has largely been forgotten when it comes to technology enablement.
How can we deny electrons to the other 47% of seniors who need them? From daycare to senior care, why aren't we more concerned about the safety, security and quality of all life? What happened to doing the right thing because it will make a difference? I know, I ask a lot of questions; it's what I do as a scientist and businessman. But I'm also the son of 80-something parents and the dad of two young adults and a teen. I sit in the middle of two completely different generations I don't want to miss each other. There's too much at stake for all of us if they do.
That's why I hope you'll join us for a special webinar we're presenting with our friends at Varsity about closing the technology and resident experience gap. If you're a CCRC or long-term care provider, then mark your calendar for Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. EST so you can improve your focus on today's mature consumers and be ready for the next wave of back-to-the-dormers, the baby boomers, who have high expectations and are changing the game when it comes to the concepts of aging and retirement.
Click here to register.
Mike MacLeod is president of Status Solutions.