In a shocking new study performed by Georgetown University, it was discovered that 96% of Baby Boomers think it’s important to remain as independent as possible in old age, but only 21% plan to incorporate new technology solutions into their lives. According to the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, most people want to live in their own homes as they get older (91%) but most do not plan to take the necessary steps to ensure they can maintain their desired lifestyle.
The U.S. Census shows us that 80% of 60-80 year olds haven’t begun to plan or think about whether they will upgrade or update their homes; 23% simply don’t know where to start. How many people does this study encompass? An expected 83.7 million Boomers by 2050; that’s double 2012’s 43.1 million.
“The projected growth of the aging population constitutes a real need to focus on preparing for the future today,” said Brent Shafer, CEO of Philips North America. “Now is the time that we need to urgently and collectively shift focus to reduce the barriers and increase education on new innovations in technology that bring peace of mind, safety, and convenience to aging seniors.”
Cost and disinterest constitute the main barriers. In terms of technology they already use and are comfortable with, Boomers are more willing to invest.
- Half of respondents currently use technology to refill prescriptions. They also use it to access government services (45 percent) and connect with doctors (41 percent). 58 percent would be interested in stove tops or ovens that automatically shut off to help them live at home as they get older. Respondents also are interested in a single remote control to manage everything in the home (46 percent) and driverless cars (41 percent).
- As they age, respondents feel the three most important factors for communities are high-speed internet access (87 percent), nearby grocery stores (83 percent), and access to hospitals and medical centers (77 percent).
- The most important factors for home design features are a low-maintenance exterior (58 percent), master bedrooms and baths on the first floor (54 percent), and effective lighting throughout the house (54 percent).
Royal Philips is focused on improving quality of life for aging Americans.
“Philips is helping to make aging well a reality for more people by introducing technology that meets the needs of aging consumers, sustains the environment, and opens opportunities for business and economic development,” Novelli added. “Together, Georgetown, Philips, and others are working towards a full continuum of care for our aging population.”