Aging is going mainstream.
For far too long seniors were the subject of dismal stereotypes, but I believe they are starting to be seen in a new way. In large part, this is due to their growing presence. The baby-boomers are moving into retirement and they are continuing to reshape our social norms to their interests and preferences. Simultaneously, scores of entrepreneurs and businesses are devoting cutting-edge technology and creative energy to products and services that improve the aging experience. Brookdale is passionate about this movement and we take more than a little pride in it, because innovation has been a core value here since our founding.
Our company’s focus on this area dates back to 2006, a year before the invention of the iPhone, if you can believe it! Our organization’s name at the time was American Retirement Corporation and we made a commitment to innovation through “Innovative Senior Care,” our ancillary services business. Fast forward more than a decade to today, when as Brookdale, we have an in-house innovation team. The group’s sole purpose is to identify, further and promote ideas, technology, services and more, that make life better for seniors in new and creative ways. Whether they reside here at Brookdale or anywhere else, we want to make an impact.
One of the best examples of what we do is our “Entrepreneur in Residence” program. This initiative allows innovators who are developing products for seniors to live at a Brookdale community for a week at no cost so they can test and refine their concepts through our residents. Research is important, including a groundbreaking study in conjunction with the Stanford Center on Longevity called “Rewiring Aging,” which examined the link between social technology and people 80 and above. We are also forging partnerships with other proven innovators such as Stanley Healthcare, Lyft, and the toy company, Hasbro.
The future though, is what I’m most excited about. New technologies provide opportunities for us to create new models of care and experiences. They will likely even disrupt the very foundations of senior living so that it reshapes and evolves to fulfill what coming generations of seniors want at this time of their lives. Granted, I am a bit biased. But I believe Brookdale will be one of those organizations people point to as helping drive this shift in how society thinks about itself and its senior members.
Would you like to join us in this endeavor? If you’re an entrepreneur or business interested in testing your concept through our Entrepreneur in Residence program, or you have a proven new product or technology you think could change seniors’ lives, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your excitement about this mission!