Latest industry developments

Is it home ‘care’ or home ‘support’? Better Caring changes its name to Mable

‘Care’ is now established as a buzzword in the retirement village sector.

Delivering care services into villages is now a major service to residents.

But is it a turn-on or a turn-off as a marketing tool to potential residents?

Research shows that people living in their own homes do not want ‘care’ delivered into their homes; they want ‘support’.

‘Care’ refers to services to people who really can’t look after themselves – they need care.

‘Support’ means I am okay, but I wouldn’t mind a bit of a hand occasionally.

Here in NSW, UnitingCare, one of our largest home care providers (and residential care providers) changed its name simply to Uniting two years ago because its customers said they found receiving support services from UnitingCare belittling.

Now online ‘care support’ disruptor Better Caring has picked up on this message, changing its name to Mable.

Peter Scutt, co-founder and CEO of Mable said feedback from the Better Caring community drove the decision to rebrand: “Since the beginnings of Better Caring, we’ve been hearing from those in our community who have said our previous name made us sound like a traditional care provider rather than a bold innovator. And many people in our community didn’t need care, rather they wanted support to live independently and be included”.

It makes sense and the name Mable sure is a lot more uplifting.

What do you think? And will you be marketing ‘care’ or ‘support’?

Things to watch

Next Monday night Four Corners will broadcast an aged care version of their retirement village investigation

The ABC has been preparing this two-part series for several months. It goes to air this Monday night, the 17th at 8:30pm and the following Monday night, the 24th.

The word is it will be quite brutal. Expenditure on food at just six dollars a day and lack of nursing staff (mandated staff ratios to residents) will be covered.

Recently the nurses’ unions have been attacking the private operators of aged care and their profits; this is likely to be mentioned in the program.

While not directly targeting retirement villages, it will again unsettle the public on the safeguards in place, especially for private village operators.

You may wish to think about being on the front foot and communicating with residents that the program is coming so they understand it is aged care and they are not hearing about it third hand after the event, with the natural confusion that takes on.

You may also want to think of your responses to the confusion that can occur.

Things to watch

Baby boomers – will they create new options in retirement living, challenging retirement villages?

The first wave of Baby boomers is upon us and most village managers are reporting that they are ‘different’.

Baby boomers are far more opinionated, direct and expecting upgraded village homes and services.

If they can’t find what they want in retirement villages, where will they go?

For some time, we have been showcasing the Beacon Hill model out of Boston (USA). A neighbourhood of apartment-dwelling retirees have formed a cooperative with a membership system priced at US$750 a year.

For this, they have one employee who coordinates communication and activities.

The first community, in Beacon Hill, has recently had its 10th anniversary. We encourage you to check out an edited video of three minutes to give you an idea of the competition we may have if we do not respond to the new Baby boomer customer.