There’s a revolution that’s taken over the rest of the world, and that’s customer driven marketing. It’s about delivering real choice based on customer need. Sounds simple right?

Yet, this revolution seems to have bypassed the care and support sector. The sector where people from four different decades are grouped into one segment – the over 65s – and provided with the same housing or support choice.

Amazingly, the executive teams of these organisations seem to think a 65-year-old has the same wants as a 85-year-old. You wouldn’t group a 25-year-old and a 45-year-old together, so why do it to older people?

Some might say that the lack of choice in care home world isn’t true. They’ll highlight the ‘’differences’’ between retirement housing, assisted living and care homes. But scratch the surface and they are all the same underneath.

It’s time older people are treated like the rest of us. Let go of the stereotypes and focus on older people as individuals who want to feel loved, part of something bigger than themselves, and connected to their community.

And that means giving up on the care home and other institutionalised settings that nobody wants to buy. There’s a reason that going into a care home is a crisis decision. It’s because people want to avoid it all costs.

So, let’s stop asking the Government to prop up a sector that is providing a product which is well-passed it’s used-by date.  There are models across the world that are working – just look at the small, group home movement in Japan – why not explore them?

We’ve found that people are more than willing to share their experiences, both their successes and their failures. We’ve visited organisations in Australia and America, worked with people who have operations in Mexico and Spain. Everyone is willing to talk, which means we can leap frog the learning and implement here without the same issues.

Older people are mainstream consumers with power to choose, dreams to fulfill and lifestyles to aspire to.  We’re committed to delivering a new type of community and new services, like Evermore@Home, to provide a better choice. Everyone has the right to #LiveHappy.

 

Sara McKee, Evermore Founder

Follow Sara on Twitter @SaraMcKeeFRSA