Monthly Archives: September 2011

Boomers and Technology (Video)

We keep seeing statistics and hearing real life stories about the rise of technology use by baby boomers. This video from Michael Rogers provides some futuristic prediction about what we may see down the road.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Share on Facebook

Merrill Gardens President Bill Pettit Goes Back to School

Merrill Gardens President Bill Pettit, and 3 other execs from the senior care industry, have joined the faculty at Washington State University as ad hoc members.

The group is teaching a new and unique course – HBM 497 Senior Living Management. The curriculum deals with a rapidly growing segment of the non-nursing-home senior living services industry, assisted living, independent living and memory care. The class is in the WSU School of Hospitality Business Management (SHBM).

“This is a very unique opportunity and a true industry/academic partnership,” said Nancy Swanger, director of the SHBM and instructor of record for the course. “With our aging boomer population, the demand for students with this type of management training is potentially huge.

“We are perhaps the only public institution in the country with a senior living course as an option in its hospitality curriculum – certainly the only one on the west coast,” she said.

In addition to participating in developing the curriculum and providing classroom instruction, all four of the companies will host the class to a tour of some of their senior living communities. Plus, the companies are awarding scholarships of $2,500 to four students enrolled in the class.

For more info, please read the recent article from the WSU News Center. In the meantime, congrats Professor Pettit.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Share on Facebook

Seniors Get Social

Last week, the Atlantic Monthly wrote a long piece entitled, “Facebook for Centenarians: Senior Citizens Learn Social Media.”

The article was incredibly well timed, as just a few days prior our own resident, 96 year old Bill Sleeper, was hobnobbing with 200 of Seattle’s social media “Twitterati” at their monthly Social Media Club event.

The coincidence underscores the importance technology and social media are playing in the happiness and well-being of our residents. What started with Wii Bowling Tournaments has turned into classes on Email, Facebook and Skype, giving everyone a an easy way to stay in touch with children, grandchildren, friends and extended family via photos and video calls.

The Atlantic Monthly article highlights a few stats worth noting:
– The 74-plus demographic is the fastest growing demographic among social networks, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
– Social networking among Internet users ages 65 and older grew 100 percent between April 2009 and May 2010, jumping from 13 percent to 26 percent.
– Facebook, Twitter, and Skype all show the most growth in the older adult demographic.

The crowd at Social Media Club Seattle always enjoys Bill’s attendance, and the MC of the event once again took time to bring the microphone over for an informal ad-lib session.  Given the stats above, maybe next event Bill will bring some of his fellow social media savvy residents with him.

(You can see some of Bill’s Technology “How-To Videos” at www.merrillgardens.com)

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
Share on Facebook