Design thinking

Living as a senior in 2020

Ulrika Ewerman & Anders Arnqvist

Tomorrow’s older generation is expected to be the largest, most educated, active and wealthiest group society has ever seen. Veryday has over 40 years of experience of user-centered design for people of all ages – including seniors. Our Futuring research has revealed many of the business opportunities that the ageing population brings, we would like to share a few.

By 2025, there will be more than 1.6 billion people aged 60 years and over. As consumption patterns change with age, this will have huge implications on the kinds of goods and services that will be in demand. How can brands and organizations today plan ahead to become more relevant and attractive to this growing consumer group?

For example, in the States, baby boomers are the single largest consumer group. They are more than 100 million strong, and they are the wealthiest and highest educated of all consumers. Seniors in the States account for more than 60 percent of health care spending, 41 percent of all new car purchases, and more than 80 percent of all luxury travel.

The world’s population is rapidly aging. In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group, as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates. Between 2000 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will double from about 11% to 22%. The number of people aged 60 years and over is expected to increase from 605 million to 2 billion over the same period. The number of people aged 80 and older will quadruple in the period 2000 to 2050. And by 2050 the world will have almost 400 million people aged 80 years or older. Never before have the majority of middle-aged adults had living parents. (Data from WHO, 2012)

“When I retired at the age of 68 my life changed completely. Now I have the time and the chance to do all the things I’ve been longing to do. But at the same time I’m really busy with my family. I help take care of my son’s three children, and I also take care of my mother who is 95. I’m always online, keeping in touch with friends all over the world.
I live a really active life. Life is meaningful. I value my sense of belonging but I also love my independence and freedom. I’m picky with what I spend my money on, because I know what I want and need. If I’m not satisfied, I won’t hesitate to complain – and let the rest of the world know.”

My life is meaningful. I value my sense of belonging, as well as my independence and freedom.

“What if…?”

By combining futuring, opportunity mapping and our broad experience of working with people of all ages we have identified three opportunity areas. We have built scenarios and systems of products and services around these 3 areas by asking ‘What if…?’. We strongly believe that a co-creative process results in the best designs possible. It is important for us to harness all the experience and tacit knowledge of our client partners- as well as other experts across different fields. We want to keep an open dialogue on the aging population, and explore all the challenges and opportunities connected to this topic. Please get in contact to join the conversation!