AgeLab: Plan Ahead with your Parents & see Innovation!

“If only I’d known…” –  how many times we have said this to ourselves! You may have friends & family who are exceptions to the rule, but most of us wait too late and then have to urgently play catch up to maneuver through all the research in the days after a Senior’s fall or injury.  Good news and a Fantastic perspective are here however, in this article from the Director of AgeLab.   Comments were rich in coverage and understanding:

“What are some words of advice for older adults and their families struggling to navigate the current system of senior housing and health care?  Start early. Sadly, most of us — and my family is included — don’t begin thinking of possibilities until someone falls and has an injury, or has a health event on Thursday, and by Monday morning, they need to move into a new site. These decisions are made in panic without time to do due diligence. As we are pushed every day to do our retirement planning, we should also be pushed to do our longevity planning.

Asking questions like, “How would I get around if I can no longer drive? …Or what would be the characteristics of where I might live if I can no longer be in my home?” Having these conversations, not just on a financial level, not just on a consumer level, but with our family members and especially our adult children is critical. That way they understand our values so they can make the decision should they have to.

The news around Innovation is fascinating as they mention evolving senior communities across the country geared to attract people not just of a certain age, but around a certain interest.  From a Zen-living focus to one of community engagement and being politically active, there is a growing range. He also speaks of the need for a continuum of care for those aging in place.. “At one end of the ecosystem, you might see services being brought to your home simply because it’s convenient. I don’t want to have to go food shopping, worry about my nutrition or deal with my transportation.  Then somewhere in between, it’s about being connected to the providers who are specialists in my health care — maybe a nutritionist or a cardiovascular care specialist. But ultimately, that same ecosystem will be at the very end of the service, which is providing care onsite.”

He argues that the way the ecosystem will emerge will be “one brand that acts as your navigator and integrator of many other service providers together… and right now that person does exist. We already know who she is. It’s what the caregiver does every single day. She’s the one who integrates and finds the provider for transportation, the doctor, the nutrition, the housing and everything else. What we need now is a company that has the capital, the IT, and cares to do the job the adult daughters and spouses have been doing for decades.”

So please click on his link below and enjoy a visionary look at the future, while also making your own notes to address longevity planning now.


Joe Coughlin