10 Sep 2019 Old? I’m Not Old!
Uh Uh! Absolutely not! As the years pass I may be getting older, but I am not old.
This is the mindset of many adult seniors. Being “old” means that you “ain’t what you use to be,” are not as independent as you once were, and are looked upon differently by other members of society, especially in the U.S. where older adults are too often considered burdens by their family.
The ability to acknowledge being “old” also presents problems to companies that develop and offer products and services to the elder population. These companies often walk a thin line between having products that are too overwhelming to learn and operate for an older adult, despite the physical and mental benefits they may offer, and those that may be simpler to use but have marginal benefits. Add to this that many seniors do not want to appear “old” to their peers and others and we have major problems developing and marketing the right products that assist elders who want to “age in place.”
Companies that design older adult health and safety products must recognize that “one size does not fit all.” As we age, our limitations and needs are often a combination of changes rather than the onset of a big one, such as a heart attack or stroke. A product aimed for seniors must be flexible enough to be adjusted to the individual it is targeting and that these adjustments are made based on inputs and configurations from the adult senior and his or her caregivers.
So – since I am not old, what appeals to me as I age? Give me something that enhances my feeling of safety and wellbeing, especially if I want to age in place in my home or another setting of my choosing. Have it reduce the caregiving burden on my loved ones, both emotionally and financially (by reducing the need for medical care). Oh – if it is something I wear make it look good so that my friends will want one as well.
Remember – I’m not old (but you might be).