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Blogging in Place

Bell's Blog: Our Ship on the Ocean

Oct 24 2015

Aging is a vast topic. It has limitless boundaries. It involves older people, their children and grandchildren and friends; doctors and hospitals and pharmaceutical companies and caregivers; homes and mortgages and safety and accessibility; benefits and savings and investments and on and on.

Aging is the ocean. But Aging in Place is just a ship on that ocean, a vehicle that provides, among other things, a room and food and service and care and transportation and social engagement.

During Aging in Place week, I was privileged to serve on a panel in New York sponsored by Home Advisor and including three other gentlemen with vast knowledge to share: Tom Kamber, whose Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) teaches the aged digital skills; Lawrence Yun, economist for the National Association of Realtors, who continually dives deep into the shifting demographics of our population; and Duo Dickinson, an architect who designs luscious homes, many of them containing the elements of universal design. The audience at the headquarters of IAC, the public company that is the brainchild of Barry Diller and that owns the Home Advisor site, was comprised of people working in or reporting on the trends in aging. Ideas for improving aging flew like torpedoes around the glass enclosed room looking out on the docks along the Hudson. Heads had to be exploding. Mine certainly was.

During that discussion, I realized that often in these presentations we drift towards talking about the ocean instead of just the ship. We want to solve every problem of aging including the whale in the room—getting everyone to face the fact that they are going to get older and will need life adjustments.

On a webinar I listened in on recently, a venture capitalist who invests in new tech products for aging, said he advises entrepreneurs to focus in on as small an idea as possible. Don’t try to do everything. Do one thing really well.

There is a difference between the ocean and the ocean liner, between aging and aging in place. Our role at the National Aging in Place Council is not and cannot possibly be solving all the problems of aging. What we can do, however, is clearly define and explain aging in place. The sea of aging is getting crowded. At some national conferences, you’ll find thousands of boats. Many of them are utilizing the term aging in place, but mostly generally. Our job is to make it specific.

Get on our boat and we’ll help you navigate the ocean with all of the support and conveniences we can offer you. Ship ahoy!