Mission completed! Clues to the future of aging services

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Shannon McIntyre
Shannon McIntyre
Many of us in the industry were at LeadingAge 2012 two weeks ago, where we saw a captivating collection of innovations in aging services. But after reading so much booth signage and hearing about so many companies' missions in this space, I came away with a new idea about predicting the future.

The future of an industry can sometimes be captured through a simple analysis of its leaders' mission statements.  For those wondering where senior living is headed, take a look at these four (and then highlight the text after each to see whose it is):

  • “Expanding the world of possibilities for aging.” – LeadingAge
  • “Unleashing the potential of technology for innovative development across the continuum of health care, housing and services for the aging.” – LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST)
  • “Enhancing the quality of life of seniors through innovative health, housing and social services.” – Eskaton
  • “Creating technology-based solutions that give people confidence to live independently, wherever they are.” – Intel-GE Care Innovations™

All four mission statements reflect the new trend of “possibility thinking” and reimagining the future of aging through innovative approaches and technologies. This is, and must be, where we are headed; with the growing number of elders, their desire for more flexible options, and the increasing financial pressures on providers, we can't afford to continue with the status quo. And after having applied technology to improve almost every other aspect of our lives, it's time that we bring its potential to bear in the senior living industry.

But this should never be done without careful foresight. So the first step for you, as a senior living provider, is to really reimagine the state of your business. Eskaton did exactly this. They wanted to provide an advanced level of care for their residents' health and safety, without having to add staff or diminish resident independence.  And through smart sensor technology, this hope became reality.  Read more here to see how they did it. 

So it's time for us to stop accepting the status quo and relying on how things have always been done.  This was clear in all of the keynotes, sessions, and sponsors at the LeadingAge event.  Look again at those mission statements: they reflect a vision of the future.  And those who don't keep up with the future, will soon be the past.

Shannon McIntyre is the Corporate Communications Manager at Intel-GE Care Innovations™.

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