A Younger Value Position for Senior Services

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  • Title: A Younger Value Position for Senior Services: “We’re Keeping Up with You”
  • Author(s): Agnes Otjen, Anna Talafuse
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies
  • Keywords: Senior Care, Experiential Learning, Branding
  • Volume: 13
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2324-7576 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2324-7584 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2324-7576/CGP/v13i04/39-53
  • Citation: Otjen, Agnes , and Anna Talafuse. 2018. "A Younger Value Position for Senior Services: “We’re Keeping Up with You”." The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies 13 (4): 39-53. doi:10.18848/2324-7576/CGP/v13i04/39-53.
  • Extent: 15 pages

Abstract

Adult Resource Alliance (ARA), a senior services organization for Yellowstone County in Montana, won a ballot initiative in June 2016 to increase services such as Meals on Wheels and services offered at four senior centers in Billings, Montana. ARA asked students at Montana State University Billings, as an experiential learning project, to develop a strategy and positioning statement to broaden appeal and target a younger audience. Shifting attitudes and behaviors from Baby Boomers to Generation X was occurring as the population aged. Students determined the main problem was that people over age fifty-five were not aware of, nor recognized themselves as, needing or benefiting from services available through ARA. Therefore, this segment was not using community services to prevent dependency or sustain the health and happiness of the senior population. Several rebranding efforts around the US have taken place in recent years to remove the negative connotation of the word senior from center titles. The primary research focused on self-actualization and attitudes toward prime of life for ages forty to seventy using a random sample of 304 respondents. A new slogan was developed through the efforts, and “keeping up with you” became the new mantra for addressing issues with awareness and removing the senior stigma. The new branding campaign launched in the summer of 2017. Most students were spring 2017 graduates and reported finding this project an essential focal point for their experiential learning and an important social service contribution to their community.