The process of aging has traditionally been described as a continuum that involves retiring from the workforce, spending some years pursuing leisure activities, developing a chronic illness or sustaining an injury, and eventually moving into a care facility as care needs progress. Today, however, that life path is being transformed as home care becomes more widely known and accepted, and as technology advances the way we care for people as they age.
But just who is this new older adult generation? Recent research paints a picture of aging like we’ve never seen before.
- Older adults are still working: According to Pew Research Center 18.8% of Americans age 65 and older, nearly 9 million people, reported being employed full- or part-time, continuing a steady increase that dates to at least 2000.
- Older adults are making the most of aging: In a Pew Research poll, more than half of people age 65 and over who are retired report enjoying growing older and feeling less stress than ever before.
- Older adults are more tech-savvy than ever: Another Pew study shows us 74% of people age 50-64 own smartphones, 42% of people age 65+ own smartphones, and 51% of Americans own a tablet computer. In the year 2000, only 14% of adults 65 and older were online. Today, nearly 60% are online.
According to Jaana Remes, an economist and partner at the McKinsey Global Institute who spoke at the Aging 2.0 conference in San Francisco in 2016, “In healthcare, there is a clear shift in consumption, and it’s mainly from a consumer we don’t hear a lot about: the aging consumer. There are a lot of attitudes, of stereotypes, and they are still less well known. There is more equality, more diversity, they are more likely to be working later, more likely to be single, they are the most educated older generation yet, and they are much more likely to be tech savvy.”
All of these statistics have a deeper significance for home care marketing because one thing hasn’t changed about this new older generation: there’s still only one place that has their hearts – home. According to AARP reports, around 90% of adults age 65 and over still wish to remain at home as they age, which means that the potential home care target is identifiable, self-identifiable, and it’s important for agencies to market to these tech-savvy clients where they are. And where they are, and how to reach them, is increasingly online.