23 February 2011

The New Business of Old Age

The NYT New Old Age blog has been around for awhile.  A few weeks ago there was this:

imageThe New Business of Old Age
Devices for I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up catastrophes, they say, represent the old business of old age. The new business of old age involves technologies and services that promote wellness, mobility, autonomy and social connectivity.

‘I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up’ scenarios are something I’ve been screaming about for years.  From my book (2005):

And a post from last year:

Boomer helps older adults bridge technology gap

Great to see Dr. Joseph Coughlin and MIT AgeLab get lots of press.  I’ve blogged them many times.  A few:

imageNew Campaigns

Two Experts, One Superb Article, One Superb Presentation

Tech & Baby Boomers: Universal Design vs. Universally Dull

Back to the NYT blog:

And if such innovations prove to promote health and independence, delaying entry into long-term care, the potential savings to the health care system could be even greater.

That’s all fine and dandy, but there are pitfalls when advertising these products – and they involve all advertisers and marketers for all products and services:

imageThe Backlash: If every time someone over fifty sees a commercial targeting them and it’s always for an age-related product or service, pretty soon their eyes will glaze over, they’ll get itchy and grumpy.