Some Things Never Grow Old: Introducing Our Video Series on Connected Aging

Our recent work on Connected Aging, supported by a June 2013 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, makes it quite clear that while our physical bodies may grow older, our need and ability to stay social never does. That is both the good news and the challenge.

“It’s about developing an attitude that says, ‘let’s see what happens...this oughta be interesting’” - 84-year-old woman

For some, staying connected after retirement and being part of a vibrant, participatory community comes naturally. And some have the resources and support readily available to make the transition less jarring. For many, however, becoming (or staying) a relevant, active member of a community can be challenging. Think of those who are more reserved, have lost their driving privileges, live in remote areas, or have left their naturally occurring retirement community out of need for supported care. Further, there are profound cultural, physical and economic constructs that exist, which put limitations on opportunity for connection amongst the aging populations, be it age biases, unfriendly physical or digital infrastructures, or economic drivers. Yet our fundamental human desire to belong, and our basic ability to do so, remains. So now what?

Healthy aging has long been thought of as a medical issue — visit the doctor and preserve quantity of life. But what about quality of life? Studies show that loneliness is a significant factor in declining health and even death. But what if we could create aging experiences that are built on CONNECTION and PURPOSE, rather than on monitoring decline?

In this video series on Connected Aging, we’ll share the insights and behaviors of those seniors who have both discovered the power of connected aging and acted upon it. We hope that in sharing their stories we can help empower the aging and isolated, as well as ignite the desire for action in business leaders who have the foresight and power to create the transformational change and the new business models that will be needed to reconsider aging as an experience of continued connection rather than decline.

Our five-part series, Some Things Never Grow Old, includes video diaries with summaries of the core principles critical in designing a Connected Aging Experience. The series begins with two segments on Connecting with Yourself — preparing mentally, taking stock and redefining what it means to be happy. In the third segment, we discuss the power of Connecting with Others — how to start conversations and the importance of doing so. The fourth segment highlights the value of Connecting with Place — making roots, creating your ‘tribe’, and nurturing your surrounding environment. The final segment portrays the inevitable results of these actions, which is Connecting with Community — how taking chances to create the life you want to live leads to greater fulfillment and meaning. 

This work is only the beginning. The Business Innovation Factory has identified four key opportunity areas for Connected Aging, developed in conjunction with elders engaged in the study and grounded by experience insights and principles.

So I ask you...are reading this as an aging person, a changemaker, or both? If you would like to explore more about creating the transformational change and new business models needed to make the Connected Aging experience a part of everyday life, please contact us. We would love to connect with you.

Connected Aging Video Series: Some Things Never Grow Old

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