“Boldly go where no one has gone before.”

I recently had the opportunity to write an article for the Society of Actuaries Long-Term Care Insurance Section newsletter. Why am I interested in long-term care insurance? Because the insurers and their policyholders are stakeholders who stand to benefit from updating houses. The article explains the value updated homes carries for long-term care insurers and policyholders and identifies partners who are also interested.

I also attended the annual Intercompany Long-Term Care Insurance Conference this winter. Long Term Care insurance is a whole new industry for me. I spoke on a couple of thoughtful panels and learned a lot.  I met really good folks genuinely concerned about the long-term care needs of older Americans.

There is no reason to be surprised. All the other stakeholders I know – from remodeling, technology, homecare, various parts of the healthcare continuum, transportation, etc. – are equally dedicated and passionate about their work. Everyone truly gets the difficulties of aging well, with dignity and finite resources. And they want to make it better.

In both the article and the panels I pointed out HomesRenewed’s leadership role to help these stakeholders see their shared interest and use the clout of their combined resources.

So…why the Star Trek quote in the title?

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man one has gone before!

This phrase, with an update, is familiar to many. Star Trek captured our imaginations and many hours of our lives. But it is not just about the final frontier. It is about any frontier. It captured our imaginations because the crew was willing to step out of their comfort zone.

Why are we afraid to step up and ‘boldly’ make things better?

Maybe because I am a carpenter I expect tangible results from my work. It is not only about conception, design, permits or financing. It is also about ‘boldly’ stepping up to a pile of lumber, measuring, cutting and nailing boards to assemble something that was not there before. The goal is something you can walk through, touch and use.

                          I built this…back in the day!

You may be thinking: How did he get from a long term care industry newsletter to Star Trek and carpentry work?

Two things inspired this post:

1. I am currently on two “working groups” to advance home modifications. I have known some of the other experts for years, others are welcome new players. Both working groups set their ‘goals’ before I was invited to join   The goals are increasing data and making people aware.  These goals are short of ‘cutting and hammering’ –  the real, tangible goal of changing houses.

2.  I read an excellent paper, just released, on a new way to fund and administer catastrophic long term care coverage to many Americans. There is no question of need. Many of us will suffer catastrophic health issues that wipe us out financially and rob us and our families from the conditions to take responsibility for our lives as we age. But the plan stops short of what should also be part of the goal –  suggestions or incentives to avoid the catastrophe.

Why are we afraid to step up and ‘boldly’ make things better?

If you only plan to get to the 5 yard line you will not make it into the end zone. Successfully reaching your goal does not solve the problem if the goal does not include the solution.

A recent example of bold goal setting is the Amazon, JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway partnership to fix healthcare. The goal is not to find cheaper coverage or save money by self insuring. Or even create an insurance company from which they can  profit. They plan to fix the problem. This partnership has the usual players and media in a tizzy.  Will the partnership disrupt healthcare as we know it? Well, that would be great. This is bold action. Identify the problem and set a goal of solving it.

HomesRenewed is leading us to the goal of increasing the number of homes with the capacity for residents to live throughout their lives. Not educate about modifications. Not wait for catastrophe to act. Change housing when it can make a difference.

How are we doing it? Lobbying and advising the Federal government. Publishing research to show stakeholders value. Fostering grass roots campaigns.  Harnessing the collective power to support the effort.  Sign on here. Donate. Get in touch. Much more to come in the next few months.

Boldly going where WE need to go!




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