Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Fighting Stereotypes

In a previous post, I mentioned that we need to consider how we name and market our programs for older adults. Recent articles show that many senior centers are changing their names to avoid using aging labels, in order to be more attractive to older adults. I came across a post about a "senior center" called Vitalize! Wellness Centre. This center describes itself as "... a successful aging center that takes a holistic approach to aging by focusing on the tenets of successful aging: physical, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and vocational wellness."

This aging center does more than just have a catchy name to attract older adults. It successfully makes its programming intriguing and in doing so, it defies any negative stereotypes about programming for seniors. Their lifelong learning classes are called "hungry mind" classes. Concepts used in their marketing video include empowerment, independence, lifelong learning, community, fun, friends, and purpose.
Here is a Youtube video promoting this wellness center:

"Mather's—More Than a Café" is also "thinking outside the box". These cafes are provided by Mather LifeWays, which is a not-for-profit organization. Here is how they describe the cafés:

“Our Cafés are special places where older adults reenergize, explore, connect, and enjoy.

Reenergize by strength training, practicing tai chi, or taking a yoga class.

Explore the world through lifelong learning adventures and taking line-dancing, piano, pottery, chess, and computer classes. Attend book readings and signings as well as important lectures about identity theft and tax laws. Take a day trip to an exciting area event, like Broadway in Chicago!

Connect with neighbors in your community who sharre mutual interests. Gain free access to area information."

Note that this center provides classes, author signings, a place to socialize, a place to meet people with similar interests, and local information about the area. Libraries are currently providing most or all of these activities and services for older adults. We need to develop successful marketing campaigns - like these created by non-profit organizations - to highlight our services for older adults.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

No comments: