Reflections on “Aging In America” 2013

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Whew, what a week we had in Chicago!  Amazing.  Inspiring.  Exciting…  Connecting.  Presenting.  Experiencing…  Exhausting.  That about sums up the “What’s Next Boomer Summit” and the American Society on Aging 2013 “Aging In America” national conference last week in Chicago 3/12 to 3/16.  A whirlwind of new information, new businesses, new connections, and new opportunities were exposed and revealed first hand in presentations we attended, and “between the lines” as well, in “after hours” activities with both colleagues and attendees alike – during brief chats, lunch walks, dinner celebrations, and peer group brainstorming sessions.

I brought easily over 500 pieces of business information combined total in EtMM business cards, our new book preview biz cards, my ADM architecture biz cards, my ADM tri-fold literature, etc. – the FIRST DAY, I had to go back to my hotel room THREE TIMES to get more that I brought down in my suit coat pockets!  Amazing…

The industry is truly DEFINING ITSELF as we speak.  This is a “race for space”, with people climbing the hill to plant their flag in the specific sector and segment of the market space they want to capture, and yet we’re all doing it (just a bit) by the “seat of our pants”.  What I mean is, this entire industry is being INVENTED AS WE GO.  Our world and U.S. demographic has never been where it’s going, and there are many industries, technologies, thought leaders, and academics that are reviewing, studying, researching, inventing, creating and striving to solve the challenges, problems, and opportunities of the Baby Boomers and their families.

Everything was represented at this conference.  Tech people with new in-home care ideas for tele-health were there with booths.  Advocates for (against) dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other similar age-related disease were there.  Academia leaders with new views, angles, research and statistics on our population were there.  Oh, and me too – I was there, for my first visit to ASA’s #AiA13, and I was blessed to be a presenter & speaker at my first event.  I had the honor of sharing the stage for a 90 minute workshop with Dr. Patrick Roden (owner of as well as (the “guru” of AIP over the last 20-30 years,) Mr. Louis Tenenbaum.  Our presentation “The UPside Risk of Aging In Place: How to Live Happily Ever After in Your Own Home” was a success.  The room was overflowing, and there were people listening from in the hall outside the back doors.  Not bad for an 8am time slot on the first day of the event!

We had great feedback on the presentation, from Elder Law attorneys in Minnesota, to In-Home Caregiver agencies in Texas.  My personal favorite testimonial I received in an email when I returned to Seattle, and it stated:

“…Yours was one of my favorite presentations at #AiA13. It was clear, easy to follow and not self-serving or commercial like some of them. I thought you used humor to great effect… I look forward to hearing from you and am intrigued by your thought about collaborating.”

Kate (Kathy) Cronkite

We are flattered and honored to get such feedback – especially from the legendary Mr. Walter Cronkite’s daughter… (Yes, that’s her & the last name you were thinking of…)

So, what were our “take away” items, reflections, lessons, and ideas as we review our trip and our notes from last week in Chicago?  (Please note, these are not ver-batum quotes, but short form ideas from my own notes during presentations and speeches by some of the other leaders in this industry.)  In short format “bullets”, here there are:

1) For technology to “automate” a system for our societal benefit, there needs to be a defined process. — Laurie Orlov, Founder, Aging In Place Technology Watch

2) The number one search term in this industry space is “Senior Care Costs”. — Julie Northcutt (CaregiverList website)

3) Home Care is a 1:1 patient to care giver experience, while the average nursing home ratio is 1:12  — Julie Northcutt (CaregiverList website)

4) Telecare’s average user age is 82 years old.  But the buyer is the daughter. — Pill Prenovitz, Product Manager – Philips Lifeline

5) The 79 million Baby Boomers represent 40% of Technology spending. (But we are starting to lose some of our sight and hearing, and tech needs to adapt to us) — Gary M. Kaye, Founder of InTheBoomBox

6) There is a direct correlation between an increase in schooling / education, and an increase in longevity.  —  Gail Sheehy, author, journalist, lecturer in the aging industry

7) The Boomer Industry will be a $20 Billion sector by 2020.  —  Mary Furlong, author of “Turning Silver into Gold”

8) Every Baby Boomer will be 50 years old by 2014.  They look very different as a consumer and the start, middle, end (1946, 1955, 1964 birth years).  —  Myrna Blyth, Founder of MORE  magazine, Editorial Director AARP

9) 24% of U.S. Adults are caring for another adult.  30% of the U.S. population helps a loved one with personal issues and tasks on a daily basis.  —  Shannon Ingram, Owner of GenAge Marketing

10) Wait for it… No, really.  You’ll have to wait.  I’ve got plenty more to blog about from my two full tablets of notes from more amazing speakers and presenters.  I could likely come up with 50 more just from Keynote Speaker Dr. Ken Dychtwald, a voice of the aging segment for the last 30-40 years – he brought a room of 800+ from laughter to tears more than once in his 45 minutes on stage.  It was impressive.

More to come on our thoughts, insights, ideas, and collaborations that came out of the ASA’s “Aging In America” 2013 national conference.  Stay tuned!!!

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3 thoughts on “Reflections on “Aging In America” 2013
  • Aaron, Great review with helpful links. It’s hard to synopsize these intense 5 days of conference into a few bullet points. Phew! Looking forward to your other insights and conclusions. Here’s to living to be a healthy 100 year old! (that was my shocking takeaway!)

  • MJ Lee says:

    Will a video of your session be posted on the internet?

    • admin says:

      MJ – We didn’t have our Chicago presentation recorded with video, but I do have the audio. I’m working on our e-commerce portion of the site, and my portion of the 90 minute presentation will be presented in audio format for a nominal cost. I also plan to start doing webinars this summer, and one of the first ones will be my original presentation “The Aging In Place Phenomenon” which is our 1/3 of the Chicago presentation with Dr. Patrick Roden and Mr. Louis Tenenbaum, which together was titled “The UPside Risk of Aging-In-Place: How to Live Happily Ever After in your Own Home.” Stay tuned, or email us for additional information regarding timing of these upcoming releases. Thanks!

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