Sunday, November 18, 2018

Is innovationitis contagious?

It is a bad sign when the ‘noise’ about a new idea is not matched by tangible results.

You know what I mean - ‘blockchain and tokens will devastate the financial services industry’. Really? No sign of it happening anytime soon. 

‘AI and robotics will cause XX% of people to lose their jobs’. Maybe, but are we talking next week, next month, next decade? 

The same thing about the way the ageing business has discovered ‘innovation’. No doubt the resolution and hard work of the people at Aging2 has done much to forward the concept but I have to say I have seen very little evidence that all the workshops, hacks, conferences, competitions and general collections of bright minds has resulted in much in the way of commercial success. More importantly, no signs (that I have seen) that any innovations have improved the lives of older people.

Cripes, even the UK is getting involved in the innovation world.

Please tell me I am wrong. Please send me lots of examples of how all this innovation stuff has resulted in successful commercial products. No doubt it has been good for the ageing industry - not doubt about that - but as far as contributing to the quality of life of older people? Dick Stroud

Friday, November 16, 2018

Gen Z and Millennial marketers love diversity - just one exception - oldies

The image company Shutterscock has published some data showing how open minded and inclusive Gen Z and Millennial marketers are when it come to using imagery and advertising messages that embrace same-sex couples, transgender models, people with disabilities and gender-fluid models.

Big round of applause!!!!

The strange and amusing thing is that these open minded paragons of virtue have a huge blind spot (sorry, impaired vision disability) when it comes to how they deal with age. As long as the same sex couples, transgender models, people with disabilities and gender fluid models all reflect their own age group then they are fine. Attempting to make their advertising age-neutral is another whole ball game.

Guess there are few virtue signaling points to be awarded to the age-aware Millennial.

Do you detect a note of cynicism? How perceptive. Dick Stroud

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

'Growing Old Profitably' - focus on private payers - ditch local authority customers

I am amazed that it has taken the care industry so long to realise that sticking with local authority customers leads in one direction - and that is a place you don't want to go.

We all know the gap between the fees paid by private payers and council clients. For too long we have had the nasty practice of making those that fund their own care subsidise those referred from social services. It is another form of taxation.

This was never going to be a stable situation yet only now are we seeing how the story is going to unfold. This week's Economist had an article titled 'Growing Old Profitably'. The title should have been 'How to grow profitably on the old'

A summary of the Economist's reporting.

Much of the care industry is in terrible finance shape. It is estimated that England has lost 3,700 beds since 2012. It is not only beds that have been lost but also the profits of providing care.

There a few markets where demand is soaring as profits plummet..

Care UK's boss, Andrew Knight, is quoted saying that the only way to provide care is to take more residents who pay their own way. Nobody can argue with that assumption.

Of course this will cause the plight of care companies that rely on state funded customers to worsen.

What we are seeing is the a clear division between the care that older people will receive depending on the size of bank balance. Those companies that want to keep their selling costs low and rely on a contract from the local council will have to radically reshape how they deliver care. Failing that their financial demise is just a matter of time. A sad situation but one that has been very obvious for years. Dick Stroud