What is Kin-Keepers' value?
Blessed are the Kin-Keepers that unite the family. Kin-Keepers addresses the aging narrative with a continuum of solutions that begin with early retirement and continue into the end of life. Along the way, we provide physical and emotional tools that allow Seniors to first Age in Place, then Age Together in Co-Housing dwellings among Families and Friends. We are keen to tackle the affordability of retirement and long life, now facing over 50 million Americans, and millions more around the world. We don’t only focus on Physical matters, but on behavioral-emotional needs too. The package makes for a maximum of self-sufficiency without undue burden on Carers.
What is the vision?
Our vision stems from observing that people can coexist harmoniously even when their perceptions of reality differ. You can live with a pet dog, whose hearing and sense of smell differ greatly from yours. And dogs can live with humans despite their inability to imagine the universe.
So why not live with someone cognitively impaired? To be sure, they live in a different perceptual world, sometimes with fears, inappropriate actions, and hallucinations. Yet given sufficient feedback, those afflicted can adapt and learn how to use their evolving brains to fulfill the most basic desires.
The problem they face is isolation and demeaning identity erosion. With the best of intentions families and caregivers remove all forms of feedback leaving the sufferers dependent on those who care for them. That creates confusion, frustration, and even anger for the elder. It becomes a burden for the caregiver and engenders dread, hopelessness, and resentment. Unknowingly when a child tells a parent what to do without understanding the nature of the disease, misguidedly they slowly erode the identity of the senior.
To the extent that people are living longer, and resources for support are increasingly insufficient - it leads to an insatiable need that will not soon go away. Boomers will buy Smart Parrots for their parents and then use them for themselves, too.
Our Smart Parrots become assistive selves used for the memory in the same way a cane is used for walking. These are not cures, they are feedback mechanisms that confer the certainty the brain craves to establish balance.
Why are we doing this?
I was once sailing with my family in a small boat just off the coast. We were caught late at night in a storm. All were afraid. We were disoriented, yearning only to return home to port. Then a lighthouse appeared. Its light illuminated a path through the darkness. Suddenly our despair turned to hope. That lesson now motivates us in our work with elders who live with Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia. They too live in a confusing, frightening sea. They too yearn to find balance and a way to return home. We have created for them a lighthouse in the form of a Smart Parrot. It is not a cure, but it helps them find meaning and certainty in an otherwise unforgiving world.
Today, over 10,000 boomers retire daily. This population shift will not end with this cohort but will go on for the next 50 years These young seniors are just starting to worry about their own memory. If there is no sudden cure, 50% of them will have Dementia by the end of this decade. They are just starting to ask, how far will their own cognitive decline go? To them, we say “Have hope: Memories and places will fade, but emotions will stay with you until you die.” Hold on dearly to these emotions and through them learn to give and receive love. People's names will fade away, but never will you lose the bond of love.
People are living longer with fewer offspring and the institutions for aging no longer suffice. Traditional cultural ways of retiring will not work as they once did. Furthermore, many seniors have not been able to save enough to carry them through retirement. Currently, the average monthly Social Security benefit for retired American workers is only around $1,360. That's less than $16,320 per year when reduced by an automatic Medicare deduction, ($144.60 in 2020 up to $9.10 from $135.50 in 2019) which isn't enough to cover the basic needs. (2020 update: Social Security recipients will get a 1.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in their monthly benefits starting in January. The average individual retired Social Security beneficiary is expected to see a monthly benefit jump from $1,479 to $1,503, an increase of roughly $24 per month or $288 for the year.) Why despair when aging folk can band together with Family and Friends, pooling their Social Security checks or pensions to meet their evolving needs?
What is the basic offering?
Our offering is a software app that is embedded inside a toy PET, like a Parrot or Macaw. The algorithm is called the Assistive Self. With it, utterances of those suffering Alzheimer's or other forms of Dementia can be translated. The elder gets an assurance that what they say is being heard; the carer moves beyond frustration in finally understanding.
“My sick father says the wrong words and can barely understand when I’m speaking, so we both get angry and I know I’ve failed another test for caregiving. It’s too difficult sometimes. How do we talk to each other?”
What is offered for the Behavioral-Emotional Side of Care?
As humans age, culture erodes identity. First with Ageism, then with seclusion, and finally neglect. Young families have to participate in fast-paced, competitive, and always chased-for-time lives. For them, it gets harder and harder to afford attention to parents and challenged loved ones. To that end, Kin-Keepers offers tools to bridge the gap. We start with Family Tree news delivered over Alexa or Google Home. It is also optionally available online as a dynamic, interactive Family Tree. Here is how it works: Grandma gets voice mail updates from the family and proceeds to curate the information for the rest of the clan. This activity only requiring voice (no computer skills) allows Grandma to contribute purposefully to the task of family Kin-Keeping while sharing the most expansive view of any in the family. Along the way, an AI Guardian PET assists with names, dates, and other memories that may fall away as Grandma ages. The AI PET also listens for voice Bio-markets that alert the family to moods, health conditions, and more. All Kin-Keepers' emotional tools are FREE.
What is available for the Physical Side of Care?
We offer best-of-breed solutions from around the world that facilitate life. Things like Exoskeletons, Stair Climbers, Wearables, and Mobility aids all come into play at the right time. The solutions are previewed in TV videos where Seniors select and evaluate them for use. Viewers of the series also get a chance to vote and share opinions with others. The products are then sourced at a group discount for those in need, often with assistance from Government Agencies. Eventually, Ageing in Place, at home gives way to Multigenerational Co-Housing.
Is there a name for senior communal living with relatives and friends?
Yes, it is called by its acronym “FLOORS.” It stands for Family (or Friends) Living Only On Retirement Savings – It represents continued economic self-sufficiency for later in life Seniors through Co-housing with Family and Friends and participation in Coop Supply services. For many, it is the only viable way to avoid an unfamiliar and expensive nursing home. We aim to replace the fear of aging alone with the satisfaction of growing older among family and friends. Peace of mind for all.
How does this work?
Envision a high-tech cooperative village, where family and friends retire together. If you own a home, you can share it with relatives and close friends. They, in turn, may be able to do the same and make for seasonal living in different places. If you have been renting, you may be surprised to learn that your FLOORS team can buy a home in out-of-the-way destinations or build by choosing one of the specially designed models that are constructed to lower costs. It all depends on how many members you bring in. Yours becomes a Smart Home. The structures come with roof solar cells, heat evaporation walls, rainwater catchment, "granny farming," and more. All these innovations provide a small profit back to its group. Smart high tech is used to monitor the health of residents and when possible, bring in telemedicine. Everything from autonomous vehicle transportation to skilled nursing exists, through shared coop buying services. There is a spiritual component, too. Best of all, grand-kids are welcome!
What if I want to stay put in my present home?
You can; just join the FLOORS online, in a virtual way. This will allow you to stay in touch with your closest Family and Friends. Even as a virtual member, you can share in the Coop Services. However, at some point, you may opt for closer proximity and assistance of family members and friends, not the strangers you would encounter in a nursing or assisted living home. Plus, it will cost you much less.
What if my spouse disagrees with me?
It’s not uncommon for husbands and wives to see retirement needs differently. In America, men are expected to be self-reliant, individuals. Women are more social, collaborative. Longevity patterns make these harder too, because men often die before women, and rarely face retirement alone. Moreover, traditional multi-generational co-housing falters when Grandma moves in with the family at very old age; it’s hard for a 70-year-old to take care of a 90+-year-old parent. Conditions like stroke, dementia or Alzheimer’s require full-time care. All of which are obtained through Cooperative FLOORS.
What’s the best time to form a FLOORS and what happens if I don’t?
Most seniors will prefer to remain in their homes for as long as possible. That may work well in their 60s 70s and even 80s, even if one spouse dies and the other continues alone. They will seek support from friends and purpose in volunteering. In their 90s seniors while professing to live happily alone, require increased vigilance from family caregivers. Seniors are usually not satisfied with outside support and will go through caregivers like water. The problem is compounded by aging orphans, women without children, now approaching 19% of the population. By their 90s seniors must seek support through Assisted Living or Nursing Homecare. Think ahead. So when’s the best time to form a FLOORS? Do it now while you can still plan, still build familial bonds, and gain peace of mind that you won’t become a burden or worse, a senior orphan.
Won’t the government pay for my health care needs?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70% of people turning 65 this year will require long-term care in the future. Can you beat those odds? Health insurance will pay some health care services costs, but only under specific circumstances, and only for a limited time. For example, Medicare will pay for skilled services or rehabilitative care in a nursing home for a maximum of 100 days. At this point, more than 2/3 of seniors look to Medicaid to defray the cost, but that will not work for the 78 million baby boom generation and beyond arriving at once. Long-term services like Nursing Homes account for 42% of Medicaid spending even while only 6% of the senior population use them. Currently, the average monthly Social Security benefit for retired workers is only around $1,360 but even that is reduced by a monthly $184 Medicare deduction (as of 2019) per individual which by the way will not cover supplemental health needs.
How much do the FLOORS cost?
Our blueprints are free, but you will have to invest time and money to make ADA-compliant modifications. If you choose a home, you, your family, and friends will pay for your Co-Housing facilities through mortgages, financed through a portion of each members' Social Security Check. The cost depends on you and your FLOORS. You can remodel an existing home to meet senior needs or design independent homes around a central compound.
How difficult will all this be?
That's the easy part. We provide you with all the planning tools you will need for free. You use these to organize your FLOORS, get the commitment, do Virtual Reality tours to intended destinations, meet guides, make a trip, upgrade a home or design a village. And finally, we plug you into a coop of shared services. Engage your tribe while there is time to enjoy the journey. You will have fun, save a lot, and exchange uncertainty for a vision of what your sustainable retirement will be among loved ones.
Am I too old?
If you can still play games and engage with family and friends, then you are not too old. FLOORS are family communities in support of one another. It is where you belong
Is there a minimum size for Groups?
FLOORS can be of any size, but we recommend no less than 4 members. We assist small groups in finding and occupying homes, some in the tropics. It's up to you to create the group. In so doing, this becomes Your "OpusDei", your Work of God.
Who owns the FLOORS?
All are independent, contract-based organizations. We provide the tools and guidance for their creation and cooperative services for ongoing success.
Who runs the FLOORS?
Generally, it is a labor of love that falls to a senior caregiver in the group. Children and younger relatives contribute support by participating in the selection of Coop Shared Services. You will not be managed by anyone beyond the circle of love and acceptance that comes naturally from your family and friends. More importantly, you will not be alone.
What if I don't like my family or want to get out?
You buy into a family FLOORS through shares, which can be traded. You can exit, create your own or join more than one FLOORS. Rest assured that these will be appreciating assets as the world population grows, but the land does not.
Can I share this information with others?
Of course! Each time you do, you help retiring citizens thrive.
Why is it called Kin-Keepers?
Kin-Keepers once provided this important family function. Now it is time to bring it back. Successful FLOORS s are like Families. They depend on your passion and commitment. You must see this effort as the Kin-Keeper role for your family. Helping your family stay together is the best thing you can do to take care of Aging Parents. Seniors need your help to write their last chapter of life.