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Senior Moments

Category: Aging, General / Topics: Choices and Decision Making Opportunity

Exploitation

by Dan Seagren

Posted: June 27, 2010

Once upon a time I received an invitation to subscribe to a journal featuring selling to seniors…

Once upon a time I received an invitation to subscribe to a journal featuring selling to seniors. Not yet then but close to being a senior, I probed a bit more. It purported to show me profitable, practical ways to target the elderly market. Hmmm. A bargain for one hundred bucks?

First off, it didn't meet my needs. I had no intention of selling to seniors, at least not merchandise.

Secondly, my responsibilities were not necessarily religious. As a chaplain and minister, there have been many times when I have been involved in material matters, legal tangles, financial difficulties and family disputes, not always of a religious origin. This journal would tell me to use characters fifteen years young than the intended audience, like 45-50. It would also instruct me in using the best nouns and adjectives when referring to older people and how to cross-fertilize ideas from other countries to suit their needs.

It also reminded me that the seniors were the fastest growing age group in America controlling at least half of the nation's buying power. It also informed me that I could become an expert in retirement housing, pharmaceuticals, retailing, banking, travel, hotels, recreation, insurance, health care, restaurants, home care and nursing homes. Wow. If had subscribed, I'd be a genius today as a senior citizen.

I would have also learned how to get free checking accounts, discounts of every imaginable description. Besides, indirectly, I would be a master at marketing with an uncanny ability to resist smooth operators as well as vulgar con artists.

That reminded me of an incident when I was a kid. My clergyman father came home one day, raging over an incident where one of his elderly members was bilked out of her lifelong savings. As he related this to my mother, I was stunned, frightened and awed. To this day I have never forgotten his righteous indignation and that memorable kitchen scene.

Am I sorry now I didn't subscribe? Hardly. Sure, it would be nice to have mastered all those techniques, applying them righteously to my mission in life. After all, each one of us is urged to fed the poor, run con artists out of town, use common sense in finding our way in the labyrinth of life while assisting others to do so as well.

So, I guess my senior moment right now is a reminder that we do not need help in exploitation; it comes too naturally and easily. What we need is compassion, virtue and trust. Then our admonitions will be beneficial, not destructive.



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Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: June 27, 2010

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