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Why businesses are wrong to ignore over 50s

24th July 2019

People are living longer than ever before and fewer people are having children. As a result, the UK population is ageing. Although this brings new challenges, it also presents new business opportunities, as older people are increasingly leading healthier lives whilst having a younger attitude to life. However, businesses are currently failing to seize the new opportunities of the ageing population.

A recent article published in The Telegraph, suggests that advertising companies across the UK are wrongly grouping everyone over the age of fifty into the same age category. Because of this, many people feel misrepresented, as people aged sixty often feel they have more in common with someone who is thirty rather than someone who is ninety. The article suggests businesses need to focus on making products for the over 50s more desirable and less clinical looking as although older people may use handrails and stairlifts, they are still interested in youthful products and activities.

According to research conducted in 2016, households of the over 50s accounted for over half of consumer spending. This is the equivalent of £473 billion per year, which makes spending by the older generations one of the biggest trends in the past decade, so much so that it has been described as the ‘silver pound.’

So, what do businesses need to do differently? They need to target over 50s with well-designed products, services and technologies with the ageing population in mind. As people live healthier for longer, now more than ever, older people are feeling younger than their age.

As recorded on GOV.UK, the government have recently set up a new council of advisors, the UK Longevity Council who aim to advise business leaders and health experts on how to improve innovations in technology, products and services for older people. As part of a new scheme, the council also aims to help people in the UK enjoy an extra 5 years of healthy and independent living by 2035.

The Secretary for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, tells GOV.UK: “Keeping people healthy and independent is absolutely central to our vision for our healthcare system. Living longer should be celebrated but we need to think seriously about how we can adapt society more widely to meet older people’s needs. We must use our industry’s incredible abilities in technology, design and innovation in new, thoughtful ways to support everyone to age well.

“Business has a vital role to play in providing inclusive products and services that are attractive to our older population and can enable everyone to stay living at home for longer and keep active. I look forward to working with Andy Briggs and the rest of the Longevity Council to help the UK lead the way in thinking creatively and originally about ageing.”

 

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This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.