Saturday, December 3, 2011

Assisted Living for the Perfectly Able

I heard yet another story from someone who had an amazing experience at a Sandals all-inclusive resort. There were some twists and turns in the tale, as well as a few funny one-liners, but I couldn't tear myself away from the overwhelming hilarity that laid beneath the narrative. I have always wondered what it was like to spend a few days at one of these resorts, and I have taken every opportunity to gather that information from those who have spent a vacation in the pampered existence that comes along with the overpriced luxury. Each time, I am greeted with tales of laziness, gluttony and inebriation. Rarely are there details that fall outside of any of those three main categories.

I was not interested in chronicling these stories for research on which island or city I want to visit or what time of year in which to do so. No, I treated this story as if I were gathering reconnaissance for a future investment venture. I did not picture a honeymoon in Jamaica or a nice relaxing weekend in Hawaii. I was thinking about what it would be like to create an assisted living facility for the perfectly able.

Think about it. A full time suburban assisted living facility of my very own, but it would be unlike any other in all the land. Generally, these installations are geared toward a geriatric population that needs constant supervision and care. My vision is far more contemporary and original. I would like to open the world's first assisted living facility for the able bodied individual who just wants to pay the premium for being a lethargic bump on the proverbial log. I would call it ALPA (pause for realization of the acronym's ingredients).

My facility would be equipped with wall to wall seats and couches, and at no point in their occasional saunter from one room to another would they ever be out of eye's reach of a 40+ inch high definition flat screen TV. They would have implanted earphones that could switch from one TV signal to another with the click of a button. The implant would occasionally ring in their ear with an incoming personal phone call or announcement of whichever meal was being prepared in the kitchen. With another click of a button; their food order could be delivered directly to their agape faces within minutes. The all-purpose remote could call upon a nursemaid, pillow fluffer, concierge, or any other person on our staff that would wait on them hand and atrophied foot.

The standard fees would be fair, but any additional services they request will come at an appropriate cost. We would provide a virtual mini-bar stocked with everything one could ever dream of. The clientele will be trust fund babies who have money to burn, overworked professionals in need of a respite, or any other segment of the population that would be ready and willing to pay the price for 100% laziness. The business model is solid, and it is a well known fact that the client base most certainly exists in America. I don't see how this wouldn't be a success. I have worked with an assortment of in-home care nurse and assisted living facilities through my current job, and I know the pay scales of the employees who clean up after the elderly and perform tasks I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. My staff wouldn't have the need for any medical certification or degrees in hospitality. They would only need to learn our system of billing, basic laziness care, and have the go-getter attitude that the clients severely lack. That has to be much cheaper labor than our geriatric service competitors.

Our offerings would be basic at the beginning, but would only improve as profits expanded. I know people who are in the wireless headphone business already, and that will be our initial market advantage. A never ending wireless existence with every option within earshot or the push of a button. Our services would be centralized at one or two locations, so we could control the environment and learn the full potential of the business and overhead costs. I imagine it could eventually expand into a mobile enterprise, but that would only occur after extensive research and development. We wouldn't want to dilute the brand by making any rash decisions on expansion.

I imagine down the road, we would install more gaming systems and integrate those into our vast lineup of services. If we could get the gaming community interested in the endeavor and into our circle of slothful clientele, we could be stumbling into an absolute goldmine! We could continue expand into newer markets and untouched client bases. The service would sell itself through word of mouth over internet bulletin boards and online gaming discussions. The staff would be trained in the art of gaming, so they would always have someone for a two player Halo campaign or Wii Bowling match if the client requested an in-person companion. They would also be educated on the lingo of our client base, so they could chat for hours about Philosoraptor or World of Warcraft. We would have a minimum stay of one week, and there would never be a maximum. If you wanted to live there permanently, we most certainly could arrange that (for a price).

Can you think of any of your family and/or friends that would jump at the opportunity to never again have to make a sandwich, order pizza, make their bed, change a lightbulb, do the dishes, take out the garbage, get the mail, shop for groceries, change the batteries in the remote, wash their clothes, or do any other menial task ever again?

I know what you are thinking; isn't this what a maid or butler does for the rich? How is this any different, and how can any normal person afford these services? Well, I will employ the age old practice invented by Henry Ford, and apply it to these day-to-day tasks. I will construct an assembly line of sorts, and each of my employees will have three to four specialized tasks that they will complete at an alarming rate of productivity. The price for our services will be low enough to entice the masses, and the quantity of our clients will provide the margin we need to further our brand and our penetration of a market that I believe has never been tapped before.

I will be taking questions from potential investors and curious parties. Also, I am taking applications from those who are looking for work. This could be the next Google or GM, so invest now while the cost of co-ownership is affordable. You don't want to be like that guy who didn't listen to his friend who told him about this little start-up software company called Microsoft in 1986. That would be a disastrous set of events, and you would never forgive yourself. So invest in ALPA today, you'll be happy you did. That is, unless this is an epic failure and just a terrible idea that was conjured up while drinking beer in a hotel lobby bar.

No, it will be a resounding success. I promise! 


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  2. Hmmmm, that plan sounds interesting yet quirky. It would be better if seniors who are still able independently avail of a discount every time they go there.

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  3. I want to live in a place with my own apartment/condo but there would be a cafeteria/resturant at the bottom and I could go eat there depending on which meal plan I sign up for, and there would be maid service so I wouln't have to cook or clean. I don't care about all the fancy technology personally, just the basics to make life a little easier and so I'd have more time to enjoy my family and my life. The place could also have a gym and a daycare.

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