Aging Baby Boomers – A Growing Epidemic

“Freedom 55” use to be touted as the bench mark for the average executive. Our thoughts centered on working that plan so that we would have enough money to do the things that we wanted to do while we still had the energy and physical abilities to do them. In effect, Freedom 55 was our understanding of aging well.

But that proves the old adage “the best laid plans of mice and men often goes awry”. No one expected the global financial meltdown, and all its associated woes. Our imagination instead focuses on those smiling faces and wind blown hair that we saw in commercials centered around sailing. Rather than sailing on those evasive sail boats we are heading in what is being referred to as a Boomer Tsunami or the Gray Wave. Although this creates a long list of opportunities it must be remembered that this wave - unlike our equities and funds is recession proof. This problem needs to be dealt with at the level it was created.

Our Federal Government created its first initiative when it realized that the cost to institutionalize seniors adds up to $43,000 per year versus a stay at home program that costs $3,000.00 annually. The “Aging at home” program was designed to answer this initiative and planned to be delivered to the community through CCAC’s.

Every day through the CCAC, 200,000 clients link-up to 158 hospitals and 622 long-term care facilities and thousands of community support agencies. A staff of 7,000 professionals utilizing a budget of 1.7 billion for 2008/2009 season. They procure and manage the delivery of services from both non-profit and private agencies, and still it is not enough as the CCAC is already “stretched to the limit”. Each year, they make 17 million personal support and homemaking visits. With only 90 hours of home care available to the most deserving people those that are financially secure are left with greater burden.

According to Statistics Canada the number of people 65 and older is expected to reach 6.7 million by 2021. Twenty years later that figure will climb to 9.2 million with 1.6 million age 85 and older. Meanwhile the proportion of children and young people is expected to continue declining for another half-century. Seniors will represent 21 % of the population by 2031. Research also indicates that 84% of the seniors 85 and older want to live at home rather than live in a nursing home. To do that, more than half will need assistance with daily living activities. Therefore, seniors and their family members are looking at alternatives to assisted living and nursing homes.

It is with this in mind that I feel the time to introduce “Everything 4 Seniors” to the market place. Everything 4 Seniors is a grass roots initiative that is innovative in Canada, although in the United States it is already a recognized service. Everything 4 seniors is a concierge service that connects seniors with services and products at whatever level they can afford.

In the corporate world concierges are often referred to as a personal assistant. They perform a wide range of services for clients. A concierge which targets seniors performs many similar functions with a twist: The mission is to enrich the lives of their elderly clients by delivering services that allow those clients to maintain an independent, dignified lifestyle and live the purposeful life we were all intended to live for as long as possible. Maintaining the vitality that our parents showed us during our childhood.

Our target market, tend to be seniors or their family members interested in solving a problem without utilizing government agencies. A private for profit agency that endeavors to help government agencies by meeting unique needs that CCAC can’t fill and are either left undone or put into the hands of caring family members already stressed by being part of a sandwiched generation - caught between family obligations and employers not financial able, during these economic times, to allow employees unlimited time offs to administer to family needs. In fact, the latest benefit/perk is Senior concierge services for senior executives to care for their parents needs.

We have created three levels of service to address the different level of this problem. Instead of being over-charged for professional services we will negotiate the price and ensure the work is done to your satisfaction. For important VIP type services we have mature individuals to perform important functions, such as accompanying clients to doctor appointments. Finally, for simple activities we discovered that students have an immense patience and understanding for the frustrations felt by seniors. I watch my son with his grandmother and nothing is too much for him when it comes to his grandmother.

Each level is priced to be affordable and take advantage of our present economic situation.