Senior Lives

The global population age 60 and above has tripled over the last 50 years and is expected to triple again over the next half century to reach nearly 2 billion in 2050. Read on to explore opportunities and threats for your organization.

What is changing?

Population

  • People older than age 65 will make up a larger and larger percentage of the population in many countries.
  • Climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050.
  • By 2050, impacts of climate change on mortality are projected to be the greatest in south Asia.
  • Between 2000 and 2050, India’s old-age dependency ratio will go from 13% to 33%.
  • Census figures show that by 2030 there will be only three working adults to support every elderly person in the U.S.
  • Within the next 20 years, the number of elderly people in the U.S. will double.

Care

  • Rapid population ageing is putting significant pressure on health and social care systems and threatening the financial sustainability of some public and corporate pension arrangements.
  • Developments associated with health and wellbeing (underpinned by developments in biotechnology and cognitive neuroscience) will lead to people living longer.
  • The adoption of biological monitors and predictive diagnostics tools to proactively manage health can be expected to help enable greater use of an ageing workforce.
  • Technologies that improve life-long health and wellbeing will lower the incidence of chronic conditions.
  • Pollution, appropriate housing, affordable health care in some cases, an ageing population, will challenge infrastructure.
  • Rising health care costs-driven by population growth, more elderly patients, and the prevalence of obesity and non-communicable diseases-are projected to intensify over the next 15 years.
  • Asia is expected to show high growth rate in healthcare IT market in next few years due to rise in ageing population.
  • Smart rugs can monitor the gait of the independent elderly to recognize potential balance problems or predict falls.
  • There will be a dramatic increase in demand for personal care workers of various kinds to cope with the health and acuity issues facing aging Baby Boomers.
  • Care providers around the world will come from India.
  • Technological and medical measures to maintain the elderly in their own homes and in retirement residences will expand dramatically.
  • Due to an ageing doctor workforce and a foreseeable increase in demand a shortage of doctors is projected for Germany in the future.
  • As Thailand ages the service sector could be a future engine of growth.
  • Brain health will be among the most important determinants of social and economic well-being of older persons in the future.
  • Health care costs will grow faster than prices over the long term causing rising taxes to affect more people over time.
  • The medical wearable devices market is expected to grow over 16% by 2023 thanks to seniors with more money to spend on technology to ease their chronic pain and diabetes.
  • Home health monitoring device shipments will top 28 million by 2021.
  • Population growth, ageing societies, and changing disease patterns are expected to drive greater demand for well-trained health workers in the next 15 years.

Infrastructure

  • Locating developments for older people within existing urban environments will be a key challenge for the planning system.

 

Implications

Finances

  • For host countries with ageing populations and a shrinking workforce, migration could alter the age distribution in a way that may strengthen fiscal sustainability
  • Growing indebtedness poses a threat to retirement security.
  • In Germany, there will be a transition from the “baby boom” to the “baby bust” generation in the next 15 years, which will shift the balance in the public pensions system.
  • Health insurance, pensions and other provisions will need to be recalibrated in an era where the pace of technological and organisational change is outstripping the ability of both labour markets and the capacity of government to respond.
  • America’s future retirees together have $7.7 trillion less in savings than they will need to retire with dignity.
  • The Social Security trust funds for old-age benefits and disability insurance could be depleted in 2034.
  • Britain’s changing demographics will mean a huge shift in demand for legal services.

Work

  • People living longer lives in health means that they will work longer.
  • Employers are going to need to be ready to accept new realities and adopt new practices to accommodate workers of all ages.
  • People living longer lives in health means that they will work longer.
  • Swedes will have to work until they reach the ripe old age of 75 and even longer for the Swedish economy to stay afloat.

Technologies

  • The next generation of home-care robots, for instance, could use visual cues such as tears, audio signals such as extended silence or barely audible speech, and physiological signs such as lowered temperature and raised blood pressure to assess moods among the elderly and cheer them up.
  • Self-driving cars could help fill the gaps in public transportation by helping to increase mobility for the elderly.
  • Exoskeletons and health assistants could assist seniors to live more normal and at home lives.

Weak signals

  • There’s a very good chance that future humans will eventually enter into a state of so-called negligible senescence (the cessation of ageing).

Sentiment (stable)

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