One entrepreneur is looking to fight ageism and promote better care for senior citizens, one sticker at a time. Charles de Vilmorin, co-founder and CEO of Linked Senior, has started a program dubbed “Old People Are Cool,” which will not only produce stickers bearing the peculiar slogan but will also provide service to elderly citizens that will make senior living easier, such as brain games and musical therapy. This “therapeutic engagement platform” is just the tip of the iceberg for the betterment of the senior care industry.
Vilmorin apparently saw a similar message on a college campus in New Hampshire, which inspired him to go forth with the “Old People Are Cool” credo, in which he used later to create stickers that he distributed to his Linked Senior clients. Although simple and practically free advertisement, the stickers helped spread de Vilmorin’s message and gather attention to his campaign. He is also selling t-shirts with the slogan on them on his website where all sales profits are donated to an Alzheimer’s charity. Vilmorin plans to officially launch this campaign on Sep. 12 at the American Therapeutic Recreation Association conference that takes place yearly in Orlando.
One topic that de Vilmorin wants to shed light on with this project is society’s ignorance to senior care and living, referring to nursing homes as a “black hole in our society.” He says, “We as a society are much more aware of how a prison or school functions, than a nursing home.” With the help of Old People Are Cool, de Vilmorin hopes to spark interest in the people that ask about the stickers about senior living and welfare, perhaps guiding them into the struggling workforce of senior care professionals.
The slogan Old People Are Cool itself is obviously meant to catch the eyes and stir up a chuckle, but it also serves to show the senior care industry and seniors themselves in a better light. “When I’ve told people [about my job] over the years … I get almost a pitiful, ‘that’s so sad’ look,” says Melanie Perry of American Senior Communities in Indiana. “I think the Old People Are Cool campaign helps start that conversation to say, there are some sad things that occur, but it’s not a sad industry to work in.”
And not only that, but the project means to project the image of senior living to be like exactly what the stickers say: Old people are cool! And de Vilmorin attempts that by gathering inspiration from “cool” fashion magazine Vogue, appropriating the magazine’s font and theme for their website. But they’re not taking a shot at Vogue by any means, de Vilmorin says. He just wants a platform that younger people can relate to, and one of the most relatable being fashion.
But who’s to say what’s cool? Who’s the governing voice? The young hipsters or the old and wise? Well, those are exactly the questions Charles de Vilmorin hopes to get when people see his stickers.