"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Aging Population and the Growing Demand for Elderly Services

As the baby boomers from the 1940s to 1960s all around the world age, the growing demand for elderly services will become more and more in demand. These services for the elderly can consist of nursing homes and home-caretakers to retirement communities and golf courses. As peoples bodies and minds deteriorate with time. Their memory and functioning abilities decreases and decreases and are not able to recover like it was able to when they were 30 years younger.

Retirement is a big change in life for all of society. Not only the retirees but for everyone. When retirees spend most of their life in a job where work has occupied a lot of their time, they are most of the time ready to change the pace and relax, since they have worked all of their lives for this, and now want to see some return for their investments. This may mean moving; like into a more luxurious area or somewhere like a ‘golden-age community’ where the surroundings are geared towards the elderly, and there are other couples similar to them living close by and more facilities for activities and meetings like playing golf and socializing. Now, it is not always the case that people chose to move or change their lifestyle. Sometimes deterioration of the body occurs faster in some people than others, which can disable some functions and not allow them to take care of themselves properly anymore. The need for in-home caretakers and retirement homes will also increase. As the baby boomers retire, job opportunities open up, and more of an emphasis will have to be put on meeting the needs and demands of the elderly, since they are the bulk of the population. Thus, creating more jobs in sectors coming into contact with elders. Retirement and aging also affects family and friends who may or may not be in their daily lives. When baby boomers are incapable of taking care of themselves, friends and family try and help them out as much as possible, and most of the time puts a strain on these people trying to help. Whether it be time constraints because they are juggling a family and taking care of an elderly, or a financial constraint where both the baby boomer and the family does not have much money to begin with, and then feeling responsible to pay for a caretaker or a residence which will look after them.

Managers and organizations can use this information look into the near future and to gear their products and services more towards the needs of the elderly. This will be able to create more jobs in the sector and also meet the steadily increasing demand for these products or services (adult diapers, caretakers, retirement courses, golf courses, etc.). With the great demand there is right now, only a select few are able to use these services, because when the demand goes up, the price goes up because there is only so much the market can provide/service. If the supply is increased, the demand will not decrease, but the price will decrease for the services, which is in essence what we want to see happen,

Andrew Maloney