By Steve Moran
Rock Weekly takes a look at trends and emerging companies related to digital health. And, of course, just about anything to do with health means older people. This particular issue caught my eye because it is talking about a new frontier that is perhaps past emerging but still in its early stages. The delivery of healthcare at home.
In This Issue
In just this issue we see:
- Easy enterprise prescriptions in 37 states (which I find humorous since this used to be a staple of small mom and pop drug stores 50 years ago).
- At-home lab testing services
- Done-at-home COVID testing
It has never been easier for people to access healthcare services at home. And since many of our residents move into senior living for easier access to these kinds of services, on the surface this looks like a threat.
IT IS NOT A THREAT
IT IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY
Here is why:
There is one thing we sell that no one else provides and that is a rich, relational, experiential life with other people. Sure you can hire someone to come into your home. But if you have done this, you know the work gets done but only rarely does it mean companionship. So, when older people “take advantage” of these great services they are actually sentencing themselves (or their loved ones) to a life that is less joyful, purposeful, and meaningful.
It’s actually worse than that, though. The data is clear that when older people live in social isolation they die sooner. The data suggests that smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and living alone have about the same impact on the reduction of lifespan.
Here is how I would script it for families. “We know senior living is a big decision for older people. And, we know most families think about sticking with the status quo; which means staying at home and adding some extra services, like grocery shopping, care aides, home medical care of all kinds that are now available. And it sounds really great.
But what most don’t know and no one ever tells them is that, unless they are trying to get an early inheritance, it is a terrible idea. When older people stay at home in isolation their physical and mental health goes downhill at an alarming rate. In fact, it goes downhill so fast that it can shave 7 years off their lifespan”.
So Many Threats
There are a million reasons for people not to move into senior living. We can let them discourage us or we can look at how to turn them into opportunities for making our unique value proposition shine.