What are the Most Important Factors for Quality, Independent Living Throughout Life?

by David Mitchel | Nov. 16, 2017

Parks Associates recently published Smart Home, Caregiving, and Aging in Place, an analysis of existing and anticipated independent living needs among people age 50 and older. This was an exciting project to complete, given the significant demographic shifts that are currently occurring in the United States. The U.S. population is greying, which is a trend that will continue for decades, due in large part to the aging of the sizable Baby Boomer generation.

The below chart illustrates central, important tenets of this report. The perceived needs in older age have economic repercussions. There are opportunities in the market for companies to address the needs of the burgeoning elder population whose needs haven’t fully been met.

When looking at home living needs across all ages, it’s not surprising to see that wealth and health management needs are the most highly rated needs. Without health and money, life is a lot more difficult, if not impossible. Having health and money makes it easier for people to live with ease and convenience at home. For decades, personal finance experts and financial services companies have persuaded the public to develop saving and investing plans for retirement years, and yet many are ill prepared for the financial needs of retirement. Additionally, health outcomes for the U.S. leave much to be desired, and will need to be addressed in the future both at the individual level and at the collective level.

With an aging population that desires independent living, it is expected that there will be an increase in demand for home living services, as well as smart home devices and services. These devices and services aim to be solutions that will make aging more comfortable and safe, reduce caregiver burden, and enhance quality of life. Current/future caregivers, pre-retirees, and retirees intending to extend their period of independence have the opportunity to benefit from solutions either currently on the market or coming to market in the near future.

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