Dementia Q&A with Nasco; Senior Activities
Wendy Lucht, Director of Sales & Marketing answers 5 KIM Questions
1. KIM: NASCO began when an Agriculture teacher identified a gap in the available ‘tools’ for classrooms and has evolved into a ‘go-to’ resource for those of us seeking Activity ideas and aides for Seniors and those with Dementia. Can you share more details with our readers about the growth from Agriculture to the broad scope of educational resources you offer today?
N: Nasco was started in 1941 by a vocational agricultural teacher,Norman Eckley. He developed several teaching aids to use in his vocational agriculture classes…teaching aids that were not readily available from any other source. This simple act of filling a classroom need with an appropriate product was to become a way of life for Nasco in years to come. Nasco currently has over 21 different catalogs offering over 96,000 unique items to meet the needs of teachers in 14 different educational subject areas, farmers and ranchers, activity directors, health care training and simulation and industry. In addition to serving customers in all 50 states, Nasco’s unique blend of products for education, health care, agriculture, and industry appeals to customers in over 180 countries. Our mission is to provide customers with the best in quality, personal service, and affordably priced products. Nasco’s mail-order catalogs offer a convenient, inexpensive way for individuals in education, health care, agriculture, and industry to shop for the items they need.
2. KIM: In your opinion, who are the primary consumers that order from the Senior Activity catalog? Do you know that balance/percentage between Activity professionals vs. family care partners?
N: Nasco’s Senior Activities catalog primarily receives orders from activity professional working in nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, hospitals, rehab centers, VA’s , senior centers and adult day care facilities, but we also have individuals ordering items for a family member.
3. KIM: Can you share the top three selling items that are designed for those with Dementia?
N: The top three selling products (by sales volume) designed for individuals with dementia are:
1) LauriR Lacing Shapes (part # SB00841C) 2) Plumber’s Puzzle (part # 9718466C) 3) Original Activity Pillow (part # 9712388C)
4. KIM: Do the Senior Activities featured in the catalog change regularly? What is the NASCO process for introducing new items and conversely, do you ever discontinue product?
N: A new Senior Activities catalog is printed and distributed in February of each year. On the average, 200 new products are added to the catalog each year. Additional new products are also placed on Nasco’s website throughout the year after the printed catalog has been mailed. A Nasco committee looks at many potential new products each year, selecting those which are appropriate to the needs of seniors and activity directors. Products can be discontinued from the catalog at any time by the company we purchase them from when that product is no longer being produced. Products can also be discontinued from the catalog by Nasco at the end of the year of the catalog if that product is not selling well.
5. KIM: With 10,000 baby boomers a day turning 65 until the year 2029, does this impact or change your method for selecting catalog items? Do you anticipate this next generation engaging differently than their parents of today?
N: Yes, the impact of baby boomers turning 65 affects our selection of catalog products. In recent catalogs, we have been adding more products which promote exercise and fitness, products which relate to the 1950’s, 60’s and even ‘70’s. This includes memory/brain fitness products. We see this next generation as having a wider variety of interests in their activity pursuits. They want to continue to learn more skills such as using the computer and other devices or learning about a particular subject, which “Science for Seniors” promotes. Boomers also want to stay connected with their community,
Thank You! Wendy Lucht, Sales & Marketing Director for Senior Activities & Special Education for NASCO