Tuesday, September 25, 2012


ROMANCE ON THE RIVER: “We feel like we’re on our honeymoon,” enthused the loving couple who vow to “cherish each moment” they have together.
For Joyce, a 93-year-old Eskaton care center resident, and Lee, 98, her boyfriend of seven years, the romantic dinner and cruise on the Sacramento River was the perfect date, a longtime dream-come-true.
To orchestrate this most recent Thrill of a Lifetime, Eskaton care center staff contacted Hornblower Cruises & Events, which generously donated the dinner cruise package on the historic Delta King paddle wheeler. The Thrill program chipped in for a limousine escort for the couple, whose thrilling date concluded with ice cream dessert in Old Sacramento.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


THREE WORDS TO LIVE BY. Finally, for your scrutiny, here is the essential consumer appeal for aging-services providers. Actually, two related appeals. The first lends itself to independent, active aging communities. And the latter to assisted living and skilled nursing. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, these three words seem to all inclusively reflect the three most fundamental human desires -- which aging-services providers can confidently fulfill.

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


REALLY? EVERYONE? Kids have a knack of launching into pleas for why they have to have or do something with “Everyone is ...” Of course, parents quickly become immune to such hyperbole and incredulously respond, “Really? Everyone?”
Yet, as our kids are happy to remind us, we can be hypocrites -- at least those of us in the marketing world, who too often misrepresent universal characterizations. Based on most of the websites, ads and marketing literature for “active,” older adult communities, a real person might ask:
Does everyone there ride bikes?
Drive convertibles?
Surf and kayak and eat ice cream cones?
Enjoy the contemporary stylings of Hootie and the Blowfish and Celine Dion?
Never use a wheelchair, walker or even cane? Are they banished if they do?
Have a full head of silvery gray hair? And shop at Tommy Bahama and Chico’s?
Always hang out in groups with equal representation of ethnicities?

Wear brand new, generic ball caps?
Have strong backs for grandchildren who love to be swung around by their arms, on the beach?
BEWARE MARKETERS. One of these days your stock photo sources might run dry or increase their prices. Or you might forget to Photoshop that walker in the background of the bistro photo or those pills on the dining room table beside the Cobb salad or your favorite model’s wild nose hair.
And then what would your consumers think?
Maybe ... that everyone is real in your community. That, “This is where I will be most comfortable, with real people who will embrace my imperfections.”

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


THINK WORDLY. SERVE LOCALLY. A quick way to burn through your highlighting pen is to download and peruse the World Economic Forum’s remarkable compilation of essays, Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise?
The report’s “Introduction” makes a compelling case for giving priority to aging issues, and for absorbing the wealth of knowledge bound within. “In an historical context, population ageing is one of the most remarkable human success stories of any era, reflecting contributions of public health, medicine, education and economic development. But capturing and unlocking the full benefits of that success require that we adapt our perspectives and reform our institutions. The good news is that there is a wide range of behavioural changes and public policy responses to population ageing that would simultaneously avoid a significant dampening of economic growth and enhance the quality of life for people reaching older ages today and for generations to come.”
Eskaton’s approach to “think worldly, serve locally” has generated several contributions to the international dialogue on aging. The organization’s identity as a progressive aging-services provider is well-known throughout its service areas in Northern California, and even across the United States. The extent to which the brand reputation reaches around the world is both inspiring and humbling, as well.
This spring a 12-person delegation of South Korea government officials toured The Parkview, the Eskaton-managed assisted living and memory care community in Pleasanton, California. The research and advisory team was led by Lee Moo-Seung, president of the Social Welfare Foundation or, as his business card stated, “Director, Old Man’s Specialty Recuperation Facility.”
Australia frequently sends contingents to California to tour Eskaton’s communities and the National Demonstration Home in Roseville, and to meet with various executives and practitioners. The next walkabout is slated for next month.
Global demand continues for Longevity Rules, the book published by Eskaton in 2011. Recent requests for the compendium of provocative essays on aging have come from groups of retirement facilitators in Paris and Munich, as well as the Legislative Library of Support Services in Saskatchewan, Canada. Conveners of the United Nations Conference on Aging and Technology in Geneva also shared the text with participants. Notably, two of the book’s authors Laura Carstensen and S. Jay Olshansky also contributed multiple essays to Global Population Ageing.
Eskaton’s Longevity Rules blog posts (www.longevityrules.blogspot.com) and Twitter feeds (https://twitter.com/longevityrules) are trending worldwide -- most recently attracting the United Nations Committee on Aging as a follower.
And of course the international media coverage was overwhelmingly positive for the Eskaton “Thrill of a Lifetime” for Mino Ohye earlier this year, which reunited our West Sacramento resident with his brother in Japan from whom he was separated for six decades.