Strategies for Attracting Boomers

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Information about Strategies for Attracting Boomers
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Published on December 6, 2007

Author: Melinda

Source: authorstream.com

Strategies for Attracting Baby Boomers to Your Senior Center:  Strategies for Attracting Baby Boomers to Your Senior Center Elizabeth Bernat, MHA Director of Leisure & Learning Lowcountry Senior Center Charleston, SC Understanding Boomers:  Understanding Boomers Choices & Control Relevance Rule breakers, distrust authority Juggling work, kids, and aging parents Flexibility Expect the Best Value Education Seeking Experience Seeking Self-Improvement Seeking Sense of Self Looking for answers “Me” to “We” Generation Don’t think of themselves as seniors Re-evaluating Ageism Diverse Generation Boomers Like Choices & Control:  Boomers Like Choices & Control “There’s so much to do. You can’t do everything. You have to pick what you want to do the most.” TACTICS: Adopt a “menu” mentality Many options for days/times/commitment levels Menu of volunteer opportunities Multiple membership levels Packed calendar Multiples days and times for popular classes Variety and choices for any category of programming Relevant Programming:  Relevant Programming Programming cannot be insulated from the culture around us. Programs must be relevant to boomers. Tactics: Ask participants about their interests “Tell Us What You Want” Survey Program evaluations Annual membership survey Plug in to popular culture AARP Magazine, More Magazine Roads Scholar TV, online, book stores Relevant Programming:  Relevant Programming Programming cannot be insulated from the culture around us. Programs must be relevant to boomers. Tactics: Research Boomers’ interests: 30% Plan to move (smaller home, bigger home, to be near family, enjoy better weather) 87% Take better care of my physical self 80% Spending more time with loved ones 72% Spending more time on my interests and hobbies 71% More time to do the things that I have always wanted to do 47% Volunteering more 56% Traveling more 43% Taking classes or learning something new Boomers Turning 60, AARP, June 2006 Boomers are Rule Breakers:  Boomers are Rule Breakers Boomers distrust and dislike authority. Tactics: Evaluate the center’s culture Don’t want bureaucracy Don’t want an government or agency service mentality Treat participants as customers not as clients Quality customer service The Ultimate Juggling Act:  The Ultimate Juggling Act “Sandwich Generation” juggling work, kids, and aging parents Tactics: Caregiver support Caring for the caregiver programs One-stop shop for caregivers Resources and referrals Demand Flexibility:  Demand Flexibility Make it easy and keep it simple – in all aspects of the center. Tactics: Expanded hours – evenings, weekends Bend the rules Superior customer service Multiples ways to keep informed Multiple ways to register, make payments, etc. Expect the Best:  Expect the Best Baby Boomers value quality over cost. Tactics: Attractive building, furnishings, and décor Updated equipment Marketing materials, flyers, and documents Professional instructors, experts Knowledgeable, competent staff, volunteers, and other leaders Value Education:  Value Education Colleges and universities have adults going back to school in volumes. Tactics: Partner with local universities and colleges Cultivate relationships with academics Offer intellectually stimulating programs on divers topics from history to science to philosophy Seeking Experience:  Seeking Experience Boomers have always been an experiential generation Tactic: Travel that immerses one in culture, nature, hands-on experiences, and physical activities Off-site adventures: canoeing, hiking, birding Learning trips: weekend trips dedicated to writing, painting, storytelling Boomers Seeking Self-Improvement:  Boomers Seeking Self-Improvement Improving physical health is the number one interest of boomers. Tactics: Fitness classes for all levels of fitness Exercise for those with chronic conditions Improving balance Brain health and improving memory Boomers Seeking Self-Improvement:  Boomers Seeking Self-Improvement Improving physical health is the number one interest of boomers. Tactics: Alternative forms of exercise – yoga, dancing, pilates, strengthening, etc. Fitness center / gym with cardio machines and weights Fitness and wellness should represent significant portion of programming/calendar Seeking Sense of Self:  Seeking Sense of Self Reinventing oneself, wanting fulfillment, explore new areas, seeking a mastery-level learning. Tactics: Expand programming in the creative arts Instructors that are experts/professionals Create clubs Progressive programming Looking for Answers:  Looking for Answers Boomers like choices, but they cannot choose to age or control aging. Tactics: Create broad spirituality programming Yoga, meditation, tai chi Discussion groups/book clubs focused on aging spirituality issues. Partner with multiples spiritual/religious groups “Me” to “We” Generation:  “Me” to “We” Generation Boomers want to give back to the community. They are trying to figure out what they have to offer. Tactics: Civic Engagement Leadership Academy Partner with universities and colleges Volunteers – program instructors, leaders Cultivate relationships for fundraising/giving Don’t Like the Word “Senior”:  Don’t Like the Word “Senior” Forty is the new sixty. Boomers do not think of themselves as “seniors.” Tactics: Remove the concept of age Take the word “senior” out of programs titles “Senior Yoga” “Gentle Yoga” “Banking for Seniors” “Banking Basics” “Senior Tennis” “Tennis” New Image of Aging:  New Image of Aging Boomers will not tolerate aging stereotypes or ageism. Need to cultivate a new vision and new images of aging that reflect today’s older adult. Tactics: Would you attend your own senior center? Create a senior center that you and other staff members would join Develop an ageless approach Create an image that appeals to 40-year olds Boomers are Diverse:  Boomers are Diverse The sheer size of this generation, 77 million, eliminates a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Tactics: Diversity in programs Sensitivity to cultural differences Social issues are important Retirement is becoming de-standardized Slide20:  QUESTIONS? Contact Information:  Contact Information Elizabeth Bernat, MHA Director of Leisure & Learning Lowcountry Senior Center 865 Riverland Drive, Charleston, SC 29412 elizabeth.bernat@rsfh.com Tel: 843.762.9555 Fax: 843.762.7116 Managed by Roper St. Francis Healthcare

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