Certain appeals always resonate: value, personal connection, supportive independence, everyone is aging (“aging is an active verb”), among others.
Others are not so universally accepted — by one generation or another.
Take the new “graphic wraps” Eskaton applied to the transportation vans for community living residents. The colorful “mobile billboards” are accomplishing the purpose of attracting plenty of attention as they cruise about Northern California. The implied message is that Eskaton communities are contemporary, proud of our brand and home to vibrant older adults. While everyone agrees the new design clearly distinguishes the previously nondescript white buses, not everyone approves of the change.
“Most of us are dignified elderly people who have been proud of where we live. No longer,” one resident wrote. “That changed the day the ‘circus van’ came to town.” The note also stated that “many” residents feel this way, “but don’t wish to be involved.”
The predicament becomes trying to satisfy the subjectivity of the “many” with neutral, undistinguished branding. Or, veering off memory lane and on to the expressway where — even though, or especially because — the landscape is cluttered with messages competing for the attention of our prospective occupants. This new direction is not taken cavalierly; consideration for the dignity of our current residents remains paramount.
The majority of our residents, thankfully, do appreciate that the newly designed vans can serve the dual purpose to drive them about town and drive traffic to the community.