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Industry Trade Group- Aging in Place

by Louis on June 13, 2012

I talk about the Aging in Place Institute regularly. I want to write about it often as well. Most trade groups are started by industry players to promote and protect their business. Think the American Medical Association, the Motion Picture Industry Association,  the Tire Industry Association, the Auto Alliance and many more. The Aging in Place Institute has a handicap in getting started. Many  players and most consumers do not yet recognize Aging in Place as an industry.

The Wikipedia entry on trade associations starts:

“A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association or sector association, is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association participates in public relations activities such as advertising, education, political donations, lobbying and publishing, but its main focus is collaboration between companies, or standardization

Although expectations and investments for Aging in Place are high there is frustration at the slow pace of adoption and market penetration. Many communities, business and agencies and researchers recognize that aging in place will be growing. Yet little has changed since I pointed out in Aging in Place 2.0: Rethinking Solutions to the Home Care Challenge published by the MetLife Mature Marketing Institute: “…aging in your own home with services – can also be very difficult because the services needed at different times and for different levels of care are not organized into an easily managed system.”  Two previous blog entries that inform this entry are Bree Baldwin’s guest entry and one on competition.

Imagine you know you will need a different car in a few years. You would not purchase a steering wheel, a door, an engine and some seats hoping they will fit together and make a usable car  when you need them in a crisis. But that is the situation facing even the few people who may decide to plan for aging in place. They can prepare their home, for example, but cannot be sure the services they need will be available in an easily managed system. We who want to serve, need to organize the easily managed system our clients need.

That is the Aging in Place Institute’s job. AiPI will pool stakeholder resources to identify shared interests, create and promote a shared vision, identify barriers to collaboration and market development, and define the collaborative business model needed for success. AiPI projects will increase market penetration by:

  1. Collating information.
    1. Collect model and demonstration project information and results so it can be studied and built upon. This will reduce re-inventing the wheel.
    2. Develop common metrics so program results accumulate.
  2. Encouraging innovation
    1. Facilitate new, fast-paced iterations of collaborations that support Aging-in-Place. Following the lead of current ‘lean’ business practices and recent experience of the CIAIP projects, quick changes to refocus mean project results have greater currency and value.
    2. Be an incubator to encourage collaborative business models. Collaboration is the secret sauce for Aging in Place. Incubators facilitate business innovation. Aging in Place collaboration should be encouraged.
    3. Hold a business plan competition for collaborative Aging in Place business activity. A contest helped get Dragon to the space station. A contest will get collaboration into people’s homes.
  3. Collecting Market Information
    1. Research the market size and relationships to help define the interrelated business model for Aging in Place. Business needs this information to improve planning and investment.
    2. Find the best triggers and messages so people plan and prepare their homes and lives so Aging in Place is possible. Marketing and behavioral economics should be employed to help people plan their own futures.
  4. Shaping policy and advocating for aging-in-place community strategies. Policies, subsidies and incentives are key to so much societal advance. Aging in Place needs an established agenda and champions.
  5. Training and certifying for the new ‘tech enabled resource hub manager’ role needed for Aging in Place. This critical role can be desirable if it becomes a recognized and valued career path.

The Aging in Place Institute is a partnership with Leading Age to  hasten the next generation of housing and care for older Americans. We need to see Aging in Place as an industry for the dignity and health of older Americans, the success of those agencies and business who want to serve this population and for the financial health and responsibility of the United States. Some predict we are heading rapidly into demographic and health care disaster. The time is short. The time is NOW.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Peg Graham September 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Just read a few of your blogs for the first time. I am among those who are doing something and read your description of the Aging in Place Institute with great interest. Will go check that out and will circle back to you with feedback as to its effecftiveness with helping get innovation to market. Thanks for the pep talks, and keep on keeping,


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