Three years ago I started the Evermore journey, determined to provide positive lifestyle choices for people in later life. Key to this has been changing the conversation around ageing as for too long it had focussed on either decrepitude or the cost of care.
In 2013 we created a manifesto that set out a positive message to our customers and the rest of the world. We said:
We're starting a revolution.
Where growing older is about having choices, doing what you love, and feeling good.
Where you're not defined by age or illness.
And compromising your lifestyle because of current market failure is unacceptable.
Where you can still enjoy freedom and express your individuality, just as you have always done.
It sounds simple but at the time it felt like we were one of the few voices that could be heard talking about revolution in ageing. Alongside our good friend, Dr Bill Thomas, we said older age does and could mean more, and that institutional models of care do not encourage or help people to enjoy a full and meaningful life.
In the States Dr Bill has taken his message on tour, first via Second Wind and most recently the Age of Disruption. We're bringing Dr Bill and the Age of Disruption tour to Lancaster, Manchester and Leeds this June to help keep the conversation rolling and stimulate debate. You can learn more about the tour and how to get involved here.
What is the Age of Disruption? It's about challenging the current views of ageing. It's not a slippery slope of misery and decline but an opportunity to stay happy if you embrace the risks and rewards of growing older.
This alternative view of older age is slowly being taken to heart by the wider community as well as the health and social care sector. Just this week I took part in an event in Edinburgh to discuss how long term care can be transformed from an "end of life institutional model to a dynamic market full of radical and disruptive new product and service concepts".
The Age of Disruption is building momentum and we're putting plans in place to spread the revolution by taking the Evermore philosophy and approach to the world.
It's not enough to create places where older people can live happier for longer, we want to create a movement of like-minded people who are motivated to make a difference and take a stand against ageist stereotypes every day.
Starting with the care sector, we'll help frontline staff feel empowered to make decisions that positively impact on the very people they support. They'll become 'feel good activists' who will take time to develop relationships and connections, helping them to understand the individual needs and desires of older people rather than defining them by their date of birth or illness.
If we can encourage care workers to rethink ageing and give them the freedom to meet the needs of this savvy and demanding older consumer, we'll start to see greater innovation and new ways to encouraging older people to remain active participants in their community. This will benefit everyone.
Are you ready for the Age of Disruption?