By Mike Dodd
I am a Boomer. I’m right smack dab in the middle of that generation. At 58, I’m actually a lot closer to the leading edge of the generation than the trailing one, but I’m not going to split hairs. The reason that we decided to launch LifeWise Renovations® in 2009, in the midst of the worst economic downturn our industry has experienced in perhaps forever, was because the Boomers were getting close to turning that magical age of 65. That actually happened this calendar year when the first of our generation reached that age.
There are many things to like and dislike about our generation. I’m not educated enough to articulate them all…..I’ll leave that to others, as this is a topic that many have written about. In short, we have achieved and enjoyed tremendous success in our lifetimes. We have been witness to the birth and growth of innovative companies like Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Nike and many, many more, far too numerous to mention. We have also been spectators to the collapse of giants like Lehman Brothers, Enron, Tyco and Chrysler. The best of times and the worst, economically speaking, all rolled into a single generation. The constant has been the belief that our generation could achieve whatever it set its mind to. We were raised by parents who taught us that anything was possible…if you could dream it, you could have it with hard work and perseverance. A lot was sacrificed along the way, as witnessed by the 50% failure rate of that grand old institution, marriage. To a large extent, we embraced the concept of the end justifying the means. I’m pretty sure, in retrospect, that our methods might have been better served with a little more forethought and consideration of the outcomes.
The current recession has caused many of us to take a step back and take stock of those things that we hold dear. Our families and homes are among the most treasured of all possessions. We are looking at our homes in an entirely different light today, however. The vast majority of us want to remain there as we age. That premise, combined with the psychology of our generation being used to getting what we want, makes for an interesting future for America’s aging housing stock. We have the expertise and technology to adapt anyone’s home to suit their specific needs, regardless of age, physical abilities or medical diagnosis. We have enhanced our platform by incorporating the expertise of registered occupational therapists into the continuum plan, rendering us more of a health care concern than a construction company. In order to satisfy the needs of the changing marketplace, it will require that kind of partnership in the future to provide solutions that will accommodate a very large (and growing) class of consumers who are used to having their needs met.
I don’t believe that the Boomers are necessarily afraid of aging any more than previous generations were. We are clearly healthier than our parents and preceding generations. The new 50 of today is probably our parent’s 60 or 70, assuming they even lived that long. Aging is a fact of life, just as the fact that we are all dying is equally true. We are striving to insure that our twilight years have contingencies factored into them that will include comfort and convenience as tenets to that end. It’s not so much a refusal to age, although there are many who would characterize it that way, as it is a belief that the worldwide marketplace that can deliver the goods to create an environment that is healthy, safe and comfortable. We no longer have to accept that growing old must be accompanied by pain and suffering.