Involve the elderly!

In Western countries, the ageing population is a key societal problem. More and more old people are being put in a care taking house. Neglected and all alone, these people are destined a lonely faith. To cope with the increase of lonely elderly people, a new certification program has been suggested. This certificate could be placed on products to demonstrate products’ or services’ fitness for elderly people, enabling them to be involved in society once again.

First of all, I’d like to point out that living an independent life is a great challenge for many of the elderly people. Even getting the daily groceries is a major obstacle. Then isn’t the least we can do for these people to at least try make their lives a bit easier?
This can be accomplished by usage of the earlier named certification program. In that way an old woman can make a clever decision not to go for an uncertified jar of green beans, but go for an elder friendly bag of vegetables.
On top of that, elderly people need appropriate furniture in their homes. But how are they able to find out if a certain chair is comfortable enough to purchase, but not too deep so that they can still get out of the chair by themselves? Again the certification program would prove very useful. It would simplify the elder’s lives so much in a very sustainable way. That is what makes this program frugal; it’s sustainable, cheap and allows involvement of everyone.

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On the other side, like with every certificate, this program also has its disadvantages. For example, next to this specific certificate, many other certificates currently exist. All these other certificate also try to demonstrate the excellence of the products. Consumers are no longer able to remember what logo means what, because of all these different certificates. This causes the certificate programs to all lose their market value. After all, what use is it to put a logo on a product or service, when the consumer doesn’t even know what it means anymore?
And even if they would recognize this certificate, would an older man like to use an elderly proof product just because it states that it is elderly proof? Would they not feel ashamed for having to use such products? No one likes to be old, so a logo that would designate them as old and fragile might actually encourage people to nót use them.

On top of that, all certificates must be trustworthy in order to guarantee the quality of the product. The only way of proving the reliability of a certification program, is to have it be controlled continuously. The controls will cost substantial amounts of money, while still not excluding the chance of corruption within this system.
Whoever succeeds in blackmailing the controlling agency, is able to create a worthless certificate but acquire full credibility on its’ market.

So, a certification program might not be the solution to the problem of elderly people. Ultimately, companies should specialize themselves in products and services for the elderly. The quality of the companies has to be good. If it isn’t, the companies will soon go out of business due to market competition and mouth to mouth advertisement.
Taking everything together, involving the elderly into society is very important, but not through a certification program; nobody likes to be labeled!