Founder and Nexus Fellow, Bob Kramer joined Steve Gurney on the Positive Aging Community podcast to discuss the future of aging and aging services in America.
Kramer kicked off the conversation stating that at this moment we are in a very key transitional shift as we move from the ‘Greatest Generation’ to a new customer, the ‘Boomer’. The Boomer population is looking for something different.
“I could spend our whole hour, Steve, just unpacking [this]…The sort of what I’ll call, frankly at times, condescending, patronizing and, and also ageist view that older adults lack independent agency and lack the ability to continue to make a difference in the broader community. I don’t buy any of that. Increasingly, older adults are not willing to settle for whatever society provides for them as they live longer than anyone anticipated. What they want is purposeful longevity.”
“Older adults want not just to add years to their life, they want to add life to their years.” – Bob Kramer
“In the past, senior living and aging services has been about what we do for and to older adults. In the future, it will be about what is done by and with older adults. And that is a huge shift.”
Kramer also noted that the seniors housing and care industry has gone through three shockwaves. The first was COVID, where staff scrambled to keep residents alive. The second crisis is the staffing shortages. The third challenge is the financial crisis, “not just the capital markets, but inflation, interest rates rising and now real capital market turmoil where investors are very much on the sidelines and concerned about preserving their capital.”
But Kramer isn’t ready to throw up his hands in despair.
“One of the things that I look for in each of those is, what’s the silver lining that enables us to emerge stronger and with a better product, with better services, and doing better with and for older adults?”
You can listen to the full discussion at Positive Aging Community’s website.
- If You Hated 2020, You’re Going to Despise Old Age: A Nexus Op-Ed
- The Challenge of Senior Communities Staying Affordable in a Time of Rising Prices
- Middle-Income Seniors – The Forgotten Middle
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