Archive for the long term care Category

Graphic design: things that can be clicked.

Remember that old quiz show, ‘Pyramid’? It really brought in the ‘things that can be …’ categories.
What could be more ‘clickable’ than a mouse? Another of those design ideas that just works and then… Designer: get out of the way. This was for the home page of the Ontario Long Term Care Association and clicking it access a host of learning pages. Love working for the group… they understand big, legible type as do seniors everywhere.
The idea that seniors are not adequately represented on the internet is increasingly a thing of the past as net savvy boomers reach their senior years.

Graphic Design: Button, button, what’s in a button?

When the internet first caught my eye, in 1994, I struggled with the slow speeds and the evident prejudice against graphics. I understood this, as the net was a slow beast ‘in those days’ and we all, as visual people, tried to get more for less. Narrow pages and little buttons. I resisted.
I thought why press a button that looked like an envelope that evidently meant ’email’. That’s exactly what email wasn’t! THERE’S NO ENVELOPES IN EMAIL!!! Or stamps with wavy lines. Or pens with little fingers. Why not, I thought, print the word ’email’?? And with a wink and a nod toward my typographic roots, I began producing typographic finding aids for the web.
For my efforts I was told, ‘You are not an iconographic designer.’ And web designers ran off with all sorts of little images of icons that ran, smiled, and vibrated. Here’s one of my efforts that’s clear, that promotes the message and branding of the impending document, and is rather large as buttons go. It was made to draw attention within a busy page. You decide. Don’t try pressing the button, although I’m betting you want to. :-)

OLTCA addresses the looming crisis in long term care.

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. In this case, a straightforward messaging piece for the Ontario Long Term Care Association, the designer (me) simply states the case and then quietly withdraws. There are some subjects that are difficult to render, that resists the natural urge to ‘design’ and long term care may be one of them. There is simply no way to lighten the tone without appearing to undermine the somber message, slight it or gloss over the rather tragic messages contained within.

Healthcare for seniors. Refreshed. Re-designed.

I have had the distinct pleasure to design this annual report and to refresh the brand of the preeminent long term care association in Canada, in the process refocusing on the people, the caregivers behind the scenes.
I originally wrote the tagline, WE ARE LONG TERM CARE IN ONTARIO to refer to the organization as they had over 475 members and a cross section of all long term care providers in the province, representing the entire sector. But in the next year, the line came to refer to the caregivers themselves, as the face(s) of long term care. Click to see the pdf: high res lowres

From Post War, to Baby Boomers, then Pepsi Generation. Now we’re Generation Alzheimer’s.

< Our disease? Get the ‘Generation Alzheimer’s: the defining disease of the baby boomer’ report.

With each new conversation with another my age the inevitable topics come up, ‘How are your parents doing?”

What follows is typically an exchange of stories, sometimes in the early stages, moments of trepidation, like last week when one mother asked her 50 year old son when it was that he started wearing glasses. The response was, “in eleventh grade”. That would have been about 5 years ago in my mother’s case. Today I learn that she’s in virtual lock down and may be reading the same page in the same book over and over – alone in her room.

This is our disease. Breathe deeply. Own it. More later.

‘AGING in PLACE’ options: threats to seniors residence marketers??

As more and more boomers face the prospect of their parents winding up in long term care, of course they are considering a fresh variety of products and technologies designed to allow seniors what can be frequently their most pressing desire: to stay out of long term care facilities.
This was certainly the case when my mother, already in stage two Alzheimer’s, revolted against her grown children at the prospect. We hid her keys and eventually the car battery. She literally had to have her fingers pried from the lampposts outside the residence, much to the chagrin of her eldest daughter. After she tried repeatedly to leave, she was placed in lockdown, where she has been ever since.
Seems everyone I run into that is even close to my age has these stories, some more remarkable than others. Few are pretty.
Given their undeniable ‘last stop’ reputation, many elderly parents dread the day they leave their home. They instantly become ‘patients’ not ‘parents’. If their sons and daughters can give them a graceful exit or no exit at all this goes a long way toward preserving dignity in one’s senior years.
Some of the options include seated stairclimbers, walk-in tub configurations, automatic help alerts, wide, accessible hallways & lower counters, a host of alternatives present themselves everyday on TV. It’s little wonder then, that marketers for long term care homes and retirement facilities view these options as not only alternatives to their sales solutions, but outright threats as identified in their SWOT marketing plans.
Read more at Art Carr’s blog
I quite like Mr. Carr’s take on this phenomenon, which is to view it as an advantage, surely to be addressed with care and respect.  “NO ONE likes to be reminded of their weaknesses – why should we expect a senior to be any different?” But facilities must install these features, because nowadays these questions pop up sooner rather than later in the sales conversation.

What? Super Bowl Ad Mocks Seniors? You decide.


Here’s a pet peeve: advertising that mistakes ‘dissing’ for ‘funny’. I have to admit my bias here, usually it’s the senior white male: old, hairy, stupid and fat, that is just so, so humorous. Somewhat aging men are (for sure!) the cause of every woe today and serve on TV as the butt of every joke. Think of these hilarious ads as loving tributes sent to us from our kids, the art directors. Here the message is only too obvious. ‘Let’s make our car look really young and fresh by ridiculing the very old and infirm.’

Okay, so it’s funny. And if you click the link below and read some of Michelle’s comments, you’ll see even some elderly patients thought it was a hoot. But do we have to sink to ridicule to sell a damn car? So sad for Chevy, for their Cruse and of course for GM – who should know better. Somewhere, I’m sure it’s being defended as ‘edgy’…

Thanks to Michelle Seitzer and her blog, Seniors for Living for zeroing inside this one.

PHARMATRUST: real world benefits for patients, pharmacists and doctors.

Pharmatrust AdvertisingI wrote and designed this straightforward, no-nonsense ad for Pharmatrust, the maker of the ingenious medicine dispensing kiosk ( coming soon to a convenient location near you) to placement in ‘The Pharmacist’ magazine in the UK. It carefully explains the mantra, ‘healthcare everywhere’ with compelling, easy to understand benefits for patients, pharamcists and doctors.