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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sustenance and hope for caregivers of elderly parents

When people talk to me about 50-plus marketing they invariably have one of two things in mind.

Most often they are thinking of age-silo products like stairlifts, walk-in baths, hearing aids, retirement properties etc. Alternatively they are thinking about age neutral marketing (i.e. selling more multi-age products to the older demographic).

There is a third group of activities that few people want to talk about and this involves providing care for the elderly and services to carers. In the past the responsibility for providing care was assumed by the state and the relatives of the old person. This is changing as the traditional family structure disappears.

Let’s face it, looking after an incontinent and confused 80 year-old is not the sexiest of subjects. The final phase of life issues are things none of want to face. We prefer to ignore them until reality intervenes and creates a crisis.

I was recently sent a book to review called Sustenance and hope for caregivers of elderly parents by Author Gloria G. Barsamian. This is not a book about marketing but about the realities of being old and being a carer.

I have only just started reading it but it seems to provide a remarkably balanced and positive description of the subject. If you need a business reason to read such a book then consider the opportunities created by the rising 80+ population.

Another good and personal reason to read it is that a lot of us will be both a carer and the one being cared. Dick Stroud

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