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Trends in elderly care, part 1: what will the elderly population look like in 2030?

The ageing population will increase significantly in the next 10 years. What trends do we expect? And what do they mean for elderly care? In this two-part series we look at the expectations for the coming decade, starting with a look at the elderly population in 2030.

It can’t be denied: the number of elderly people is increasing

The fact that the ageing of the population is increasing is a fait accompli. And although healthcare is improving all the time, we cannot avoid an increase in the demand for care. After all, there will be an increasing number of seniors with chronic conditions such as arthritis or dementia, and physical limitations will also become more common. In addition, loneliness among the elderly is expected to rise significantly by 2030.

New forms of housing that are already catching on to this trend

In light of these expectations, we increasingly see initiatives such as caring neighbourhoods or other new forms of housing for the elderly. The aim of these new forms of housing is to enable the elderly to live independently at home for longer, while they can count on the necessary care and also maintain social contacts.

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The elderly of 2030 are not the same as the elderly of today

The number of older people is not only increasing: their skills, expectations and financial possibilities are also changing. 

  • Older people are becoming more digitally literate. They will increasingly have higher education and be more at home with digital technologies, which will help them find their way around the healthcare system.

  • Because older people are better educated, their expectations of the care system will be higher. Senior citizens will be more critical and demanding. They will have other ideas about 'growing old well' than the elderly of today and will, for example, place greater emphasis on quality of life.

  • Because the over-75s in 2030 may have worked longer than the current over-75s, they have built up more pensions. We therefore expect them to have more capital, enabling them to organise their own care more often.

  • We expect older people to stay healthy for longer. Research shows that highly educated seniors on average live longer in good health than less educated ones. Because we expect the number of highly educated people to increase, this may reduce the future demand for care.

All these expectations imply that the scalability of care technology will become increasingly important. The possibility of expanding or limiting the care circle according to one's own wishes or needs, the possibility of installing alarm buttons or movement sensors where and when required, ... This flexibility is a must for continuing to support both the demand for care and the expectations of highly educated seniors in the future.

Things are becoming more difficult for vulnerable elderly

The expectations we mentioned in the previous section will not be the same for all elderly people. As a result, the diversity among seniors will increase and vulnerable seniors in particular will find it more difficult. By vulnerable, we mean seniors with a lower education, limited digital skills or with a lower status in socio-economic terms.

These people will find it more difficult to keep up in an increasingly digital and therefore more complex society. This also changes the role of technology players. After all, they must pursue an inclusive policy in which no one is left out and ensure that their technology is understandable and accessible to everyone. That is also what we are striving for with Jane. Curious how we do it? Feel free to talk to one of our experts.

Part 2: What do these trends mean for healthcare providers and healthcare in general?

Now that we more or less have a picture of the older population in 2030, we can consider what this might mean for future carers and the care itself. We will elaborate on this in part 2 of this series.