How to Discuss Aging in Health Writing

Ryan Velez, Health Content Specialist @ Article-Writing.co
Posted On: May 09, 2018
Have you ever had the moment where you have an older acquaintance or loved one, but find it awkward to try and ask about their age? If you end up making a faux pas, generally there’s an uncomfortable moment or two before everyone laughs it off and goes about their business. This is relatively harmless, but it belies an important truth: aging is a difficult subject to talk about, and anyone who is involved in writing in the health professions can relate.
Why this happens can stem from a variety of different sources. Some believe that it is a subtle form of ageism, while others take a more philosophical bent, saying that we don’t like talking about aging because it reminds us of our own mortality. While this may sound like lofty thinking, it also plays an important role in base business. For many elderly people, the aging process and what it does to them is a driving force in their business decisions. Whether you tackle elder care directly with your business, or just market to a primarily senior audience, you need to be able to address aging in a way that doesn’t cause that “uncomfortable moment.”

What Good Writing Communicates

We’ve talked about the variety of applications for health writing before, but it’s also important to take into consideration why it works so effectively. Think of this as having the “how” to go with the “what.” Chances are, the moment you open up a business, you have a target audience in mind. This can go among income lines, geographic lines, or, in this case, demographic lines. The fundamental promise of good marketing is that it shows your targeted audience how your product solves or alleviates their issue.

The thing about aging, though, is that we don’t have a product yet that can make you younger. Yes, some beauty products or health procedures market anti-aging on a surface level, but science hasn’t figured out how to wind the clock back fully. As a result, when it comes to elder-targeted products or services, you’re going to see a dichotomy between two main types:

  1. The type of product that enables you to “live with” aging.
  2. The product that is marketed as helping you go against the grain of aging.

There are commonalities and differences in each approach, but at the end of the day, the aging conversation is what they both hinge on. For example, let’s go back to the idea of beauty products, like anti-aging cream. They don’t skirt the issue of aging at all. In fact, many try to use science to put their customers at ease. This manifests in explaining how certain elements in the skin or other parts of the body change with age, and how their product (in theory) reverses the tide. Here, the challenge is similar to what you see in most health and wellness writing: breaking down the science into something that is easy to understand but still authoritative. 

Now, we need to go to the other extreme, the product or service that works with aging concerns rather than trying to fight them. We might as well talk about the greatest extreme, hospice care. Hospice care is unique because it’s generally not the senior themselves who are reading this content, but adult children and loved ones. Because emotions are likely to be high at this time, you notice a great shift in the way aging is discussed. Hard facts and stats aren’t needed about aging, instead, there is a much more human element. Here, the focus is more on the emotions that come with aging, like uncertainty, fear, and eventually a sense of peace. The copy’s goal here is to provide those with explanations and reassurance that the senior in question will get the best final care.

writing in the health professions

The Concerns for an Aging Population

Now, with this in mind, let’s expand the conversation to exactly what seniors are thinking about before they make their purchases. Eldercare expert, speaker, and author Barbara McVicker, president of Stuck in the Middle, exemplifies this by showing how what is desirable about senior care facilities is beginning to change, not in terms of need, but priority.

“It used to be that people cared about the food and cleanliness. Now they want amenities, price, location, on-site medical professionals, a place for all the rest of their lives (continuing care), security, activities, decreased isolation, continuing education programs…”
What does this have to do with our discussion? A lot, actually. Senior consumer habits are changing, a lot. In 2018, 60.7% of people ages 65+ use the Internet. Mobile usage is on the rise as well. One recent study showed that around 70% of all the disposable income in the United States comes from this age bracket. Want to know who is the fastest growing demographic of social media users in the U.S.? People over 72! All these things combined means that the senior portion of the population is seeing aging in a new way. This isn’t necessarily a time to wind down, but to use the spare time and income that many seniors have in order to enhance their quality of life, be it through activities, learning, family time, or anything else.

One needs to keep this shift in mind when talking about aging. Our beauty product and hospice care example may be able to keep their copy somewhat the same. But what if you were marketing an adult day care service? You may want to change your copy to emphasize entertaining activities that are appropriate for an aging group versus selling how comfortable the rooms are as a primary point. We all know that people are living longer, but people are also being relatively healthy and active for longer as well. Aging is no longer as socially or recreationally crippling as it was historically. Don’t forget that when crafting your senior-facing copy.

Bringing Things Together

To sum things all up, if you are in a business with a strong senior focus, you need to somehow strike the balance of being honest but being understanding about aging, while still being able to meet the needs of adult children who may be in the driver’s seat regarding decisions. How do you juggle all of those different directions? Well, you don’t, at least not alone. Enlisting a professional writing service is your best chance to make sure that you hit all the right notes. When it comes to aging services, the best way to navigate the glut of options is to show your consumer base that you have a level of understanding of what they are going through. This means being able to communicate effectively regarding the aging process itself.

Need Writing Help?

If writing expertly-crafted blog posts isn’t your thing, you can always hire a professional content writing service like Article-Writing.co. We’ll take care of the words, so you can get back to growing your senior health business.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business. 

Seems easy, right? 

Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay! 

Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action. 

As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals. 

Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content. 

Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:

  • Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet. 
  • Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform. 
  • Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
  • Find where your current and potential audience is active online.  Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
  • Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve. 
  • Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience. 


Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience

In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.

Dr. Desai’s COVID PreCheck App Content Marketing

For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread. 

Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes

By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope. 

Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package? 

At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package

Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.