• Tue. May 28th, 2024

The Landscape And Business Opportunities

Peter is the CEO and co-founder of Seniors Helpers, a leading national non-medical in-home senior care franchise.

Aging is one relatable characteristic that all humans have in common. While it can be a very emotional subject to discuss, it does impact each and every one of us, whether we are caring for an aging loved one or are a member of the senior generation ourselves.

Although we agree that age is just a number, the “maturing” process does come with unique needs. With a swelling senior generation, the “silver tsunami” may be a storm we’re not ready for, and it’s time to hunker down. There are big challenges ahead, and visionaries are necessary.

The Impact Of The Aging Boomer Generation

Question is, will we easily surf this wave, or will it come crashing down on us? Let’s look at the issue. The U.S. Census Bureau says that by 2035, older adults are projected to outnumber kids for the first time in United States history. The Boomer generation growth is creating a ripple effect.

A growing aging population carries with it some distinct challenges. Elderly care affects millions of people in the U.S., and the complexities of this issue are far-reaching, whether you’re discussing economic impacts or providing quality care for our senior population.

1. Health

Let’s take healthcare. We are living longer—our life expectancy is more than double that of our ancestors. The average life expectancy in the U.S. is 76.4 years.

And while advances in modern medicine have contributed to life expectancy, there are costly chronic conditions that this burgeoning population faces, which, according to a West Health-Gallup survey, puts a strain on their wallets and Medicare. Medicare benefits spending is projected to increase from $829 billion in 2021 to $1.8 trillion in 2031—attributed partially to the growth in the Medicare population.

2. The Economics Of Aging

The gray wave is affecting Social Security. Concerns are mounting about our largest-ever generation of elderly impacting the coffers of this government program. Reports indicate the fund may be depleted in 10 years, possibly placing this generation into financial vulnerability.

Once a beacon of economic security, we’ve got to remember that the Social Security Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt in 1935—at a time when the number of people aged 65 and over was much smaller, representative of a shorter life expectancy.

3. Caregiving

In the last 80 years, the scenario has flipped. In the coming decades, there will be 75 to 80 million seniors, and many of them will need help with daily living. That burden often rests on the “Sandwich Generation”—Gen Xers who are “sandwiched” between the obligation of caring for their children and their aging parents.

It’s causing big changes in the family structure, and it’s a big stressor for 40-to-60-year-olds who, too often, have to prioritize one caregiving obligation over the other. This is an unprecedented dynamic we’ve not had to deal with in our country. It used to be that you had kids, raised them and enjoyed your golden years. But now, the challenge is: Who’s taking care of Mom and Dad? I have faced this with my own mother. Living several states away from her, as she aged and became less capable of getting around our family home, I had to make some decisions.

Housing is a big concern, as our seniors want to age in place independently, but some homes are not adapted to a senior’s needs. Moving the aging out of their homes is another challenge the government does not need, and why home care has essentially become the lifeguard of the silver tsunami.

The Business Of Creating Solutions

Inspired by my mother and armed with the knowledge that the need will only be growing over the coming decades, I understand how necessary it is to develop home care for seniors, providing them with respect, compassion, safety and security—and for those of us in the sandwich generation, peace of mind.

Developing new ideas intended to improve the quality of life for our aging population is not only good business but purposeful. Disruptors and those future-thinkers who comprehend the far-reaching implications of this growth are developing new strategies to cater to the senior population.

All companies can be cognizant of their sandwich-generation workforce and provide flexible work schedules for those who are caregiving. Research indicates that employees are often apprehensive about discussing personal matters at work. Aim to eliminate that stigma and provide assistance and reprieve for those caring for an aging parent.

Business Opportunities

Whether you are leading a mission-driven organization in this sector or a budding entrepreneur looking for a great idea, now is the time for visionaries in this space who will help solve societal issues like managing senior care. While the opportunities are endless, consider these ideas:

• Handyman services for the elderly: Seniors on a fixed income can’t afford high-priced maintenance and repair on their homes. Provide a service with reasonable prices and quality workmanship.

• Technology: I know so many grandparents who want to embrace technology but haven’t had the education to learn it properly. Rather than having to call on children or grandchildren to understand their iPad or the TV remote, provide a business that teaches technology to beginners.

• Personal care: Whether it’s necessary grooming like nail trims or hair styling—licensed cosmetologists who visit in the home could provide this high-demand service for seniors.

Reality Check

The statistics are a reality. While the data on this matter is vital, let’s remember that real people stand behind these numbers. They are our parents, family and friends, and eventually, they will be us. Don’t we all aspire to age with quality services, superior care and dignity?

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By admin