We often hear how the demographic structure is changing drastically. However, it can be difficult to comprehend what that these changes actually mean and why it has an impact on the healthcare sector.
The demographic changes are happening all over the world. The average for the OECD countries describes it well. The share of the old-age population group will increase significantly because of the rising number of elderly people and stagnating or decreasing number of younger age groups. This is also described with the Old Age Dependency Ratio which is a measure for the number of people aged 65 or older compared to the number of people of working age, described as age 20 – 64 years.
In 2010, in the OECD countries, the Old Age Dependency Ratio was 23.8%. In 2050, the projection is 49.9%. At the same time, an increasing number of people reaches very old age. In 2000, in the OECD countries, the age group 80 years and older represented 22.4% of the old-age population group. In 2050, the projection is 35.1%. This dramatic increase should also be seen in the light of the fact that we know from experience that 50 – 55 % of the very-old age group is dependent on care.
One of the consequences is that we see an increasing number of people retire and not partake in the work force with a growing life expectancy rate. In other words, there will be more people to care for and less people to provide the care. We already see with these demographic changes happening today and it will accelerate in the future.
If we want to maintain a good level of quality in age- and healthcare, we need to change or modify the current working methods and the way we organize our care. We cannot survive this huge demographic change without including new technology in Assisted Living.
Another very important element in Assisted Living is that new technology makes it possible to improve the work health and safety situation significantly. If we do it right the patients will not only experience increased comfort but also the possibility of keeping an independent life and dignity in the care situation. Assisted Living technology is not a threat – it is an opportunity.
" Assisted Living technology is not a threat - it is an oppotunity "
Vendlet wants to take part in the debate related to Assisted Living trying to ensure a relevant perception. One way we do this is by trying to make the topic Assisted Living more accessible through a series of articles and by participating at conferences as speakers and lecturers. Further we keep the mindset around Assisted Living with us in our product development.
Read our articles about Assisted Living: