Populations: The diverse population of older adults requires diverse solutions.
There were 810 million people over age 60 worldwide in 2012.4 Every week over one million people around the world turn age 65, according to Harvard Professor David Bloom, PhD, a world-renowned demographer and economist.5 Yet, addressing population aging is less about the numbers of older people and more about their diversity. That’s why the first principle of active aging is Populations.
A lifetime of diverse experiences, and the behaviors they have created, makes the 65-and-over age group an extremely unique segment of the population.6 These experiences and behaviors impact everything, from where and how people live, to their health status and quality of life. Meeting this group’s expectations and needs requires you to understand who they are. Consider, for example, their physical and cognitive abilities; health; age; work or marital status; sex; sexual orientation; race and culture, as well as whether or not they have children or grandchildren, access to transportation, and disposable income. This is why the older-adult market will challenge your creativity, strategic thinking, planning and implementation processes, and why one-size-fits-all solutions fail miserably with these individuals. To address this group, you will first need to establish this group’s wants and needs. Once you do so, think about what kinds of products or services you will create and deliver to meet the expectations of this large, diverse market.
A thought to ponder: Is the lack of diversity in your offerings limiting your success?
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