By Steve Moran

It was a tough year in senior living. Some people who have been in the industry a long time have called it the toughest ever. And, as many look at the future of senior living, health care, the aging population, economic capacity, the lack of workers, the crystal ball is full of doom and gloom.

The problems are real …

  • Staffing
  • Costs of everything
  • Interest rates
  • Availability
  • Affordability

I can see why people are so discouraged. But all this doom and gloom misses an incredibly important truth that has been true throughout the history of this country and mostly throughout the history of humankind. Here it is:

We have incredible capacity to figure out new, unthought-of solutions. 

What Are Those Solutions?

You reasonably ask, what are those solutions? My answer is either not super helpful, or it will inspire you.

I simply have no idea. But I do know that throughout history, we have found solutions to seemingly impossible, intractable problems. Take a look:

  1. In the late 18th century, Thomas Malthus predicted population growth would outstrip food production, leading to widespread famine and societal collapse.
  2. In the 1960s, it seemed inevitable during the Cold War that there would be war between the United States and the then Soviet Union that would destroy the planet.
  3. In 1968, Paul Ehrlich predicted mass starvation and societal collapse by 1989 due to over population.
  4. In the 1970s, there was widespread belief that we would run out of oil by the year 2000.
  5. In the 1980s, it was predicted that the ozone layer would be so depleted that we would face a massive increase in skin cancer.
  6. There was widespread belief that the Y2K bug would cause the world’s computer systems to fail, leading to all kinds of catastrophes.

Optimism Should Abound

The mass number of people growing older should only be cause for celebration, for another opportunity for ingenuity and invention. We will figure this thing out. In 10, 15, or 25 years, we will look back and be blown away by the reality that the predicted catastrophes never happened.

  • We will find a way for people with limited cash flow and assets to continue to live amazing lives.
  • We will figure out how to provide care for older people even with the changing demographics.
  • We will figure out how to use technology, some of which has not even been thought of or invented yet, that will make things better than we can imagine.

There has never been a more exciting time to be in the middle of the business of helping older people (people like me) age well.