Not to be a spoilsport…but 'age-friendly cities' aren’t. US News Money ran an article this week about ‘aging in place’ – what a great idea, but… Adding the 'but' is a correct assessment -- senior-friendly communities don’t really resonate as two words in the same sentence, although I suppose that is depending on whether you are imagining a young-aged (in either age or demeanor) senior. The AARP-sponsored state-by-state study cited underpins the issues, particularly with transportation. But what really struck me: "Of Americans over age 65, 21 percent do not drive," the report said. "This reduced mobility has a direct and often debilitating effect on older Americans' independence. More than 50 percent of non-drivers over age 65 normally do not leave home most days, partly because of a lack of transportation options." So let’s count that up, shall we? With 40 million aged 65+, 8.4 million of them are non-drivers, 4.2 million not leaving the home most days because of a lack of transportation. What are these people doing in their homes? Who sees them? How age-friendly is that?
Sustaining a good business idea. Why do initiatives falter? The most basic reasons are because of a market not adequately researched, focus groups not conducted, prices too high, too little margin, partners too late, or the latest and most frequently heard -- the timing/economy was just not right. But sometimes it is because of a few missing basics. Here are my thoughts on five prerequisites for creating a sustainable company -- but I would welcome your suggested additions. and
When agencies save paper, seniors lose. My long-time love-it, hate-it bank enables those online to replace printed statements with statements that are viewable. They encourage online access, but don't require it. In fact, many make quite an effort to save our governments from printing too much, and many more are on a mission to save those trees and be oh-so-green (paperless at home and Save Our Trees). So what other organizations will follow the examples of the Social Security Administration and most recently the Treasury Department? Financial services and banks have been pushing the go-paperless rock up hill for years, but it is always optional for the consumer. There has been some success (possibly due to the economy): paper consumption has, in fact, fallen a bit from 2010 to 2011. But the Treasury's mandate that Savings Bonds can only be purchased online is an ominous warning to the sizable senior population that still is not using the Internet - 42% of the 65+ are online, according to Pew Research, but only 30% of the 'GI Generation', those aged 74+, are online. No savings bond buying for them.
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*** And if you or your organization would like more guidance in any of these areas, learn more about Aging in Place Technology Watch offers of retainer-based and other services. ***
Hope to see you soon at one place or the other (noted on the home page as well). Increasingly my travels will include Washington, DC where we have established a 'base' of operations. Look forward to seeing you there!
All the best!