Robert Downey, Jr. made a comment in 2007 that led our Co-Founder, Glenna Crooks, to explore what he called a “pit crew” of people helping him. It launched her on a new journey, with important lessons-learned along the way and a new way of seeing life, one that fits today’s complicated world.
He was right; people need support from others and lots of it, especially when they lead busy lives and have competing responsibilities in families, careers, and communities. Support helps each of us individually and, in turn, helps all of us collectively. Know that, and you'll think about life differently, and your way of life will get better.
In more than a decade of research with people ages 7-87, we've seen that “pit crews” are “networks.” That's how they function. We've shown how they impact every part of life and why it's important to manage them well. When people, families and businesses do that, their lives get better and they become more successful.
Sometimes, dramatically so.
In all, there are eight networks that shape our lives. In each one are people who care about us and who can help us with our intentions to create a great life, a loving family, and a successful career. When times are good, these are the people we want to celebrate with us. When times are not good, these are the people we need to turn to for support.
The first five of the eight networks are called birthright networks because you were born into them. Your parents created them to meet your basic needs for family ties, physical care, educational opportunity, spiritual support, and social interaction. You could not have thrived without them and, in fact, would not have survived. This was obvious when you were an infant, but it remains true throughout your life. These networks change as you grow up and develop, but you never outgrow the needs for what they provide.
As you enter adulthood, you progress through milestones considered to be markers of maturity: leaving home, finishing school, becoming financially independent, finding a mate, and having a child. As you do, you mature into three additional networks called coming-of-age networks. Coming-of-age networks do not replace your birthright networks; they build upon them.
Seniors, themselves, or their adult children use our approach and digital tool in a few simple steps.
A number of current solutions help navigate longevity challenges:
Each of these is good but none is designed to accommodate the complexity of life today.
Ours is designed for the reality that today's seniors are longevity pioneers, aging without the help of large, close-by family and deep ties to social institutions to help. It is well suited to help everyone's needs but especially those 14 million "elder orphans" who are aging without any family at all and the 25 million Boomers who never had children.
Our tool is strategic, as we guide seniors - or those helping them - through a simple, systematic process to build and engage the support they need from others and tactical, as we help them manage that support.
The CogentSageQI data ecosystem provides new information on the quantity and quality of connections that support seniors. This provides new perspective that can lead to new, actionable strategies to help them age well and improve the quality of their life and those of their family and friends.
It will help predict the number and types of people needed to support them, the quality of support they receive, and the features of their networks that create risks to future independent living and quality of life.
Demographic information (e.g., home zip code), will support:
The data supports trend analyses, trend spotting, planning, simulations, scenario planning, risk mitigation and management, decision-making, predictive analytics, resource optimization and outlier analyses.
It supports policy-related activities such as providing better burden-of-illness calculations to support increased federal research funding, changes in state laws and regulation to help seniors age in place and ease burden and economic harm from caregiving.
Our research has revealed proprietary patterns in data that allow us to run scenarios based on various characteristics of seniors: (e.g., age, health status, marital status, family size, proximity of relatives, co-morbid conditions, and participation in religious congregations).
CogentSageQI has the capability to create complexity, risk and support indices and contribute to independent-living metrics. That data can be used to create better information for seniors and those who support them, but also to promote public policies to protect seniors as they age.