I've been blogging on aging for four years now, and for the first time I'm going to break my own rule and get personal.
Recently, my mother turned 85. After a few dozen texts and emails with my brothers and sisters, we decided to get her an iPad for her birthday. A week or so later I received her first email, reminding me of a niece's birthday.
- Technology is a social tool binding multiple generations together. That email from mom involved three generations living in three different states.
- Healthy aging is active aging and technology is one of the essential ingredients.
- The so-called silver economy is a source of economic growth and wealth creation.
- Every business should have a focus on population aging in its strategy. Soon there will 1 billion people over 60 across the globe. Any company that ignores this market is missing a huge commercial opportunity.
- Governments should start thinking about public policy that will create jobs for the over-60 demographic. They've still got a lot in the tank.
Across the world, these "aging opportunities" are being realized and captured by leading public and private organizations. At a recent event on the silver economy, co-hosted by the OECD and the Global Coalition on Aging at Oxford University, the Japanese technology company Fujistu talked about their Raku-Raku mobile phone, designed for and marketed to the over 60 demographic. Alongside Fujitsu, OECD governments were shown how the growing demand for homecare for seniors has spawned a new cottage industry - an industry that will be a source of jobs as it meets the consumer demand for better care at home as we age.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. My mom's email made a lot of people happy, including the niece who got an extra present this past birthday, but it is also a sign of how innovation can keep our aging populations active and engaged in the 21st century.