What’s Honor Radar this week? With Valentine’s Day on Sunday, we’re thinking about love and online dating. We’re also contemplating the challenges family caregivers face now—and the challenges we all will face in the future as more people turn 65 and live much, much longer.
Earlier this week, we were thrilled to be awarded “Best New Startup” at the 9th annual Crunchies hosted by TechCrunch. Watch CEO Seth Sternberg deliver a gracious acceptance speech with the Honor executive team beaming on stage behind him.
If I Should Ever…
‘Promise you’ll never put me in a nursing home’ – The Washington Post
Is it right to move a loved one into an assisted-care facility when you’ve promised never to do exactly that? A growing number of family caregivers face this agonizing question every day. The question is instantly polarizing. The answer is painfully personal.
Often when a family member makes that promise, it’s without real knowledge of what that commitment entails. “‘They have no idea what they’re signing up for,’ said Ruth Drew, director of family and information services at the Alzheimer’s Association’s national office. ‘They haven’t thought about what it’s like to take care of someone who’s a foot taller than you and needs to be lifted to be bathed or put to bed.’”
Modern medicine is helping more people live longer. But longevity does not always translate to quality of life. “Even those with devastating illnesses such as Alzheimer’s can live many years past their diagnoses. But caring for them at home becomes increasingly difficult as cognition and self-care skills worsen.”
Today there’s a wider spectrum of facilities catering to different levels of need, but even the best ones can feel institutional.
Whether you might or might not ever make the no-nursing-home promise, experts recommend this approach: “Talking it through early while everyone is still healthy can help. So can doctors or support groups, which can affirm when a move to a facility would be in everyone’s best interest.”
The comments—681 and rising—could fill a book, which would certainly be a tear-jerker.
Should We Say ‘Super Adult’ Instead of ‘Senior Citizen’? – Next Avenue
As more journalists, policy wonks, healthcare analysts, and tech entrepreneurs discuss the rapidly growing group of adults over 65, more people keep asking the same question.
What do we call them?
Or rather, asking questions: What do they want to be called? What name do they relate to? Does this soon-to-be-dominant demographic group even need a special name?
This quick read explores the current popular options and lets you vote on your favorite moniker.
Be sure to listen to the audio segment by NPR’s Scott Simon to hear Laura Carstensen, Head of the Stanford Center on Longevity, and Ken Dychtwald, Founder and CEO of Age Wave, weigh in on the naming rights and wrongs.
Elderberries? Longeviteers? Grandults? Got a good idea for what to call this group? Please let us know.
Grandma Swipes Right: Seniors Embrace Online Dating – The Wallstreet Journal
More 65+ adults are looking for companionship and love through dating sites, part of an overall trend and wider acceptance of online social networking. “Online dating: it’s not just what the kids are doing these days. Grandma and Grandpa are getting in on Internet-based romance. Among U.S. adults ages 55 to 64, online dating use has doubled since 2013, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.”
What’s causing this shift? A growing awareness and comfort with the idea of finding true love on the internet. Who says older people and technology don’t mix?
“According to the new survey, 28% of 55- to 64-year-olds say they know someone who has entered a long-term relationship via online dating, and a third say they know someone who uses online dating.”
Hardest Working Women
The Crisis Facing America’s Working Daughters – The Atlantic
“There are currently 44 million unpaid eldercare providers in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the majority are women. And yet there are very few support programs, formal or informal, in place to support these family caregivers, many of whom are struggling at work and at home.” writes Liz O’Donnell, author and founder of Working Daughter, a website for caregivers.
But that’s not the worst of it for women who care for a family member.
“As a result, they suffer loss of wages and risk losing job-related benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings, and Social Security benefits. In fact, a study from MetLife and the National Alliance for Caregiving calculated women lose an average $324,044 in compensation due to caregiving.”
There are no easy answers to this plight. But raising awareness of the high toll individuals and employers pay as more women become caregivers for their parents is the first step toward a solution.
By the year 2020, “20% of the population of the world’s richest countries will be older than 65,” reports Allison Schrager. What’s the big deal? It’s too soon to know, exactly—so many things are changing. People are living longer and dying differently than they did 50 years ago. Some will have saved enough to cover their lifestyle and health-care expenses, but most will not. If the actuaries projections are right, figuring out how to care for so many older people is going to be very costly and very challenging.
The most frightening piece of information? “By 2050 the world’s population living with dementia is expected to nearly triple (some of the biggest increases coming from poor countries). And as a larger share of the population ages past 85 and develops dementia, more will need labor-intensive, long-term care.”
We’re hopeful that Honor and other forward-thinking companies will be there in 2050 to help.
Tech Reality Check
In the midst of a correction in Silicon Valley (much-needed, according to some insiders), raising VC funding has gotten a lot harder in the past six months.
“The party is over and we all have hangovers,” said Menlo Ventures partner Venky Ganesan, incoming chairman of the National Venture Capital Association. “We have to take a couple of aspirin and ride through the pain.”
Fortunately, not every VC or Valley-funded startup is feeling that pain.
“At Tech Crunch’s Crunchies awards Monday night, the best new start-up prize went to Honor, which is focused on tackling home care. That market is expected to reach $355 billion by 2020.”
While we were excited to win, we know it takes much more than an award to build a successful startup—and that market downturns can actually be advantageous for certain business models.
“’Money is a little bit tighter from investors and what that tends to do is it means that only the strongest start-ups are able to raise funding,” said Honor CEO and co-founder Seth Sternberg.
“Sternberg is a serial entrepreneur who sold his last venture to Google. ‘The best start-ups like Google — or hopefully Honor — tend to come out of periods like this when investors are looking for high quality companies that have real business models behind them. That’s when you get amazing breakout companies.’”
For more detailed tech reality-check coverage, read on.
Want to fall in love at 85? You don’t have to wait. This journey through the rhythms of long love, by National Poetry Slam Champion IN-Q, will make your heart sing. Happy Valentine’s Day!