Breaking Down Ageism Barriers in the Homecare Industry
When you mention homecare or support to people, the perception is often that it’s just suited to the elderly - this is not the case. It also raises concerns that too many people pigeonhole the elderly, stereotype their ability to live alone or define the activities they should enjoy based on their age. Right at Home Central London is aiming to break these perceptions and smash down ageism barriers.
Gone are the days when women retired at 60 and men retired at 65. People now live longer and can enjoy a full life well past traditional retirement ages. Many people choose not to retire until much later in life and continue to contribute to society on a daily basis. There are many famous figures working well past traditional retirement age such as The Queen, Dalai Lama, Helen Mirren, Tom Jones and Cher.
For some people, there does come a time when you need a little care or support to maintain your independence or need some companionship. If you run a Google Image search for ‘homecare’, you can see why so many people feel it hard to come to terms with needing such a service. The images are all very sterile, lots of dressing gowns, and lot of people drinking cups of tea. All this does is create the impression that senior people have likely lost their personalities and lead to more people treating them the same.
Anybody who has seen our marketing collateral, website or social media knows that Right at Home Central London really push the image that you should enjoy your senior years and that a little discreet support can enable you to stay independent for longer.
Our images include seniors riding motorbikes, jumping on trampolines, playing in rock band and even a senior punk rocker. Other images simply show seniors having fun, maintaining their independence and still looking glamorous. We are not saying that everyone over a certain age needs to start going over the top with their activities or jump around the stage in skimpy outfits like Cher. Instead we are promoting the idea that age should not be a barrier. Nobody should feel pressurised by society to act a certain way just because of his or her age.
Typical images for homecare often create the perception that such services are only for seniors. We have supported many younger clients. People of any age can have an accident, prolonged hospital stay or be facing a serious illness. Many of our clients started our services after a stay in one of London’s prestigious private hospitals. Our marketing images include a mix of images with younger people, particularly on our social media channels. Having the right support can aid a speeder recovery.
Right at Home Central London supports a number of people living with dementia who have very fulfilling and independent lives. A Google Image search for ‘dementia’ results in a lot of very depressed images suggesting that anyone who has dementia is suffering and a burden on their family. As a Dementia Friends’ Champion (an Alzheimer’s Society initiative), I give regular information sessions around London educating people that you can ‘live well’ with dementia and that people with dementia can and do take an active role in their local community.
It is essential that people, particularly the press, stop using the term ‘suffering’ when discussing dementia. This again is something that Right at Home Central London is determined to promote in our marketing imagery.
The recent Alzheimer’s Show at Olympia this summer saw many homecare providers exhibiting. Our branding not only made us stand out but also started a lot of very interesting conversations on the need for an image change across the healthcare industry.
Thank you for reading and check out our website or follow us on Twitter to see the images we are using to break down ageism barriers:
Managing Director, Right at Home Central London
Telephone: 020 3441 4160