Back when I started my blog about 18 months ago, I made a point of explaining and perhaps complaining a bit too much that as boomers we would always be a large marketing target. Having grown up and now old with more than our share of what will they spend their money on attention, it may come as a shock that with the advent of the millennial population numbers hitting 80 million, we are no longer the largest age wave. Ad people now talk about not being millennial enough. Somehow we are not as enticed by shiny objects as the young.
There has even been a cry of gloom and doom in the senior housing industry that geared up for vast numbers and now is feeling ignored and somewhat imperiled. Why? Three reasons: Seniors and boomers are living healthier longer lives and do not need institutional care until much later or want traditional retirement living. We do not all have the deep financial assets to fork out 60,000 a year on assisted living and then there are those nagging staff shortages.
Yes, as a generation are supposed to be sitting on $15 Trillion yes with a T of assets (Forbes Magazine). In part we are holding on to what we have because everyone keeps telling us we will love longer than we thought we would. On the more realistic side of spending our nest eggs, I would like to present three new examples of senior services that have been heralded into the marketplace that do promote aging in your own place. I am highlighting them here not to further advertise them but to recognize that these ‘innovations’ may meet some very practical needs.
The new kids on the block for older people are: Silver Nest, Silver Cuisine and Silver Ride.
Silver Nest is bankrolling large amounts of start up money. I looked at the website once and warning, it will pop up on every other device you have once you look at it. The concept is simple. You have a house that you want to share for financial and social reasons. They do the background checks, draw up leases and even collect rent. They are already active in a handful of cities. This does address two of the biggest problems for future aging in place, lack of affordable housing and social isolation. For less expensive ways to find housemates, check out my previous post: http://waystostay.org/?s=more+than+golden+girls
Silver Cuisine is like Blue Apron but they actually make the healthy meals and ship them with easy open packaging. That way you can minimize food prep even if you are following a gluten free, diabetic or vegetarian diet. Prices are shown but not shipping fees. I would think this could be helpful if you are diet restricted and needed some easy meals after coming home from surgery or need a respite from preparing meals for someone on a temporary basis. Given that many restaurants have healthy menu items and deliver, you would have to comparison shop.
Silver Ride has been active only on the west coast so far. Think Uber without the attitude and vehicles with easy access. Trust is certainly something they will have to build with this concept. Again for those specific times when a relative or friend can not help , it may be a simple solution. Please realize many counties through their Department of Aging as well as church groups and other non profits have volunteer drivers that help for free or on a sliding scale.
So the charm offensive never ends, I guess we are still so special.