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LTCI Watch: Remember the Bus

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A year ago, the folks at the 3in4 Association were gearing up to put Marion “Doctor Marion” Somers, an elder care specialist, around the country in a vintage Greyhound bus.

The association’s mission was to draw attention to the need for long-term care (LTC) planning. Campaign organizers reported that the campaign made about 299 million media impressions.

So far this year, I haven’t gotten anything about a 2013 3in4 Need More campaign.

I am swamped with covering the upheaval in health insurance and have only had time send out a few feelers for 2013 3in4 Need More campaign information.

Maybe the 2013 campaign organizers are in a laboratory somewhere coming up with bigger, better LTC planning educational vehicle. Maybe the next time Doctor Marion passes my way, she’ll be in an Acela train, or a refurbished space shuttle.

Whether she does or doesn’t, it hit me that we all should keep the image of a 3in4 Need More bus in our hearts. 

Non-elderly Americans — and the non-elderly people of the entire world — are just starting to get a inkling of the challenges, and the joys, we’ll face as a result of the fact that huge numbers of people will get to live into their 80s, 90s and possibly beyond.

We’ll get more people who get to see great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, take their first steps.

We’ll see more children who get to grow up hearing first-hand accounts of what life was like a long, long time ago. Some children born in the 2050s may get to sit on the laps of people old enough to remember watching cartoons flicker across the screens of the first television sets.

And we may have a lot more people who need some help to get by, or a lot of help.

As Somers says, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.”

And the kind of serious planning that Somers’ bus was promoting could lead to the kind of ordinary, humdrum, comfortable days that make the difficult effort to sell the product to the right people at the right time worthwhile.

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