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Low-Tech Market Yields High Returns

From Blackberries to Droids to iPhones, the world of cell phone technology continues to outdo itself. But this week, I noticed that Tigard, Ore.-based phone company Consumer Cellular has opted to buck the trend and steer its mission in the opposite direction.

Recently, The Portland State Daily Vanguard ran an engaging piece on how Consumer Cellular is marketing its stripped down cell phone models to the senior citizens. Instead of touting oodles of multi-functionary applications, the company has designed phones with bigger buttons that are easier to see and push. And in addition to being hearing aid compatible, basic plans start at only $20 per month—a big perk for the budget conscious.

While the piece discusses the pros and cons of marketing exclusively to the senior sector, the overall mission of connecting older and younger generations demands applause. Last fall, I read about how the technology gap is threatening to turn our seniors into second class citizens. And while the claim may grossly exaggerate the truth (46 percent of seniors over the age of 65 already use cell phones, according to the story), it still draws attention to the need to better bridge the generations in an era where technology sets the pace. Seniors shouldn’t be left to fend on their own.

FirstLight Home Care has always made it its mission to create a culture of care around its in-home care businesses. It’s the interpersonal connection we establish that keeps seniors connected to the cross sector of generations who attend to their needs. And while that certainly doesn’t require a calling plan, we welcome any initiative that allows the elderly to stay active and healthy so they can go the (long) distance in all of our lives.

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