By the year 2060, nearly 100 million Americans will be age 65 or older. That’s roughly equivalent to one-third of the entire U.S. population today. These are the people who make up the so-called Baby Boomer generation, those born between 1946 and 1964.
These huge numbers clearly have powerful implications for the elderly care industry. The businesses and institutions which serve the senior demographic are valued at about $400 billion annually as of 2020. It’s easy to see from these numbers that the monetary value of senior care will vastly expand with each coming year. All of this spells significant change for the elderly care sector.
One of the foremost developments is a significant increase in what are sometimes called “age in place” or “life plan” communities. These will be living areas that provide services used by seniors, such as hands-off and hands-on assisted living, memory care, meal delivery, home cleaning/maintenance, and more. These specialized communities provide environments where aged folks can live in security and safety and among family and friends where they know they are loved.
Technology is expected to play a key role in providing tens of millions of seniors with the basics of high-quality life. Seniors will lean on technology to keep in touch with children, family, and friends who do not live in senior care communities. The Internet of Things (IoT) will find increased application among seniors because of the way it can make routine tasks easier, from cooking and unlocking a door to turning the lights on and off automatically.
The Baby Boomers will exert enormous influence on the real estate industry. In real estate, as it has long been said, “location is everything.” Seniors are not likely to dwell in remote or rural areas or even small towns as much as they will favor urban settings. That means whole neighborhoods and sections of cities will be designed with the needs of seniors in mind. City planners and real estate developers will strategize ways to accommodate a large senior component of each city’s population.
The enemy of the senior citizen is boredom. Once retired, people still need things to do to fill their days with joy and meaning. That means entertainment venues, activities, events, opportunities, and more – all of which will generate business models and job opportunities for those willing to provide services that fill these needs.