By Steve Moran
You need to read part 1, “Our Messed Up Belief,” for context.
In the early 1900s De Beers Diamond cartel controlled the sale of nearly all diamonds in the entire world, which allowed them to keep prices higher than they otherwise would likely have been. In addition to keeping the supply low, they also needed to create deep emotional desire for diamonds. What they did was work with the advertising agency N.W. Ayer & Son to create a campaign that closely tied getting engaged to getting a diamond ring.
The final thing they did was suggest that once you had a diamond, you should hold on to it “forever,” as a token of love and as an investment.
Even today, to get engaged without a diamond ring is viewed as unseemly, so that if you really love the person you are proposing to, that proposal will come with a diamond ring. I bet right now, most of you who are married or have ever been married gave or received a diamond ring. You can go deeper into the diamond story here and here.
The Wrong Message
Right now, today, the predominant message and belief is that when you are getting on in years and out of options you should move into senior living, and that my senior living community is the best out there.
The Right Message
The right message that I never really see promoted on senior living websites or in brochures is that if you really love yourself or your loved one, senior living is the only way to grow older and be happy.
I would argue that, like the diamond industry has done, our message to families should be this blunt:
If you really love your mom, your dad and want the best for them, you will move them into a senior living community.
Or honestly it should be …
If you really love your mom, your dad and want the best for them, you will move them into our senior living community.
I have suggested this idea to a few people over the last week or so, and I get the same two responses:
- It is way too manipulative.
- Senior living is not in fact the best life for everyone.
I agree with #2 and disagree with #1. Is it really too manipulative if you really believe that senior living will improve the lives of older people? If you don’t believe that, maybe you should not be in this business.
If you do believe that, shouldn’t you be doing whatever it takes to help other people see how good it is?
Finally, how loving is it for a child to simply say, “Mom isn’t interested in senior living. She just wants to stay at home, and even though I know it will give her a lower quality life, I don’t care.”
I have my flak jacket on. … Let me have it!