A sector around seniors over the age of 50
Covering the needs and demands of seniors over 50, the Silver Economy covers many products and services using very different technologies, including home automation, sensors and connected objects. The sector deals with the heterogeneous and difference of consumption between working retirees and dependent older people, and evolves within a complex financing ecosystem that does not facilitate a clear definition of the sector stakeholders relationships.
The Silver Economy, a multifaceted sector resulting from a strong demographic trend
Whatever the study, all demographic projections converge on the same prediction: by 2050-2070, the human population will increase and be older than nowadays.
In Europe, for instance, the share of people over 65 will rise from 29.6% in 2016 to 51.2% in 2070 (Eurostat).
According to INSEE, one in three people in France will be 60 or older in 2050, compared to one in five at the beginning of the century..
This growth will lead to a change in people’s behavior. We will see an increase in spendings related to health, tourism, leisure but also an evolution in needs and services related to older people staying at home. At the same time, the decline in the number of workers will lead to a decrease in work-related purchases (supplies, transport, clothing, etc.).
The Silver Economy, a source of opportunities
As a result of that, development opportunities are created for all economic actors: they need to develop dedicated solutions for the ageing market and players to adapt demographic evolution.
This evolution, in Europe, both on the size and the age of the population is a societal, political and economic challenge.
A transversal answer to this challenge is the Silver Economy. Appeared in France in 2012, this sector first covers health, homecare, housing development, services sectors and now covers others such as ICT, AI or tourism.
The Silver Economy is multisectorial and does not focus on a single market. In this broad filed, bringing actors together can seem like a tough challenge. This is why it is important to set up endeavors in order to “organize and structure, so as to federate and unite all companies acting for or with older people.”
“[This actions must be deployed] while giving companies the resources to think, develop and market products and services that will serve the autonomy of elderly of tomorrow, in France and in the world », as the French Ministry of Solidarities and Health indicated in 2015, during a strategic committee of sector for a “Second act of the Silver economy sector”.
The Silver Economy, a rising sector internationally but with fuzzy outlines
In China, the weakening of intergenerational solidarity and the increased prevalence of many chronic diseases make this country the first potential elderly care market. However, the complexity of the market requires presenting offers of products and services and relying on the expertise and the export dynamic of large groups, especially developers and managers of residences or medical centers already established in China.
In Japan, a pioneering country in Silver Economy, the government has expressed concerns about the aging of the population. Indeed, their life expectancy being higher, the aging of Japanese population is more consequent. The country, and even its industry, invests more in research in development than in France (80% compared to 62% in 2015) and promotes collaborations between public and private sectors. Thus, the initiatives are developing and manage to fight issues such as the lack of carers through the arrival of home automation.
D Free, an application on smartphone, developed by the Japanese company Triple W, to better handle daily incontinence, will be introduced during AgeingFit innovation pitches.
In Portugal, seniors represent the most vulnerable segment of the population. Their poor financial status does not help to give them access to various personal assistant services. The development of dedicated products remains a crucial issue to maintain a quality of life for Portuguese seniors.
In the same way, In Africa, as in Ivory Cost and Senegal, regional initiatives are being created in view of better care for the elderly. For example, in Ivory Cost, in Béré region, an advocacy for better care for older people has been carried out to drive change in the region.
In the United States, universities play a major role, including the creation of laboratories and incubators dedicated to clinical trials of technological products related to autonomy, health and aging population. These structures allow companies to bring their new technologies to the entire American market.
In parallel, In France, actors of the Silver Economy sector want to break free of borders. According to the association Silver Valley, companies of the sector were 73% to have wished to export their model out of France, in 2016.
The Silver Health, the tomorrow’s sector
Health is a major issue for the Silver Economy sector. Indeed, ageing is above all a biological process and therefore, a health topic. However, in order to innovate to better answer the needs of elderly people, companies sometimes need to be accompanied in their procedures (creation, financing, development, etc.) or to be associated with other companies.
That is why, as a support and facilitator of the healthcare sector in the Hauts-de-France region, Eurasanté wishes to participate in the dynamism and structuring of the healthy ageing sector or Silver Health.
Silver Health covers the fields of prevention allowing seniors to be autonomous and in « good health » as long as possible, and also the care of old and sick people staying in hospitals or geriatric homes.
The development opportunities in Silver Health are numerous:
– The projected growth in all sub-sectors of the economy follows the ageing trend of the population (“oldies-boomers” phenomenon and longer life expectancy). A strong demand is looming;
– The accessibility of older people to new technologies is a lever for the new digital economy;
– R&D and innovation initiatives are pulling the health and nutrition sectors towards the offer of products and services adapted to seniors, thus contributing to their well-being. The financial constraints of care management schemes encourage the implementation of innovative senior care models.