Add another layer to your #Business literacy. We at Serebral360° would love to know if the Forbes – Entrepreneurs article was helpful, leave a comment, like and share. Let’s dive in and discuss the information and put it to use to grow your business. #BusinessStrategy #ContentMarketing #WebDevelopment #BrandStrategy
Info@serebral360.com 762.333.1807 www.serebral360.com
Grap a copy of our NEW Business Stratgety Books #FFSS VOL1 and #FFSS VOL2
As baby boomers age, the burden of their care will increasingly fall on millennials. Who is designing senior care services for these users?
The term “sandwich generation” describes the generation of adults caring for both an elderly family member and children under the age of eighteen. Currently, 47% of American adults in their 40s or 50s fall into this category.
We are at the beginning of a tectonic demographic shift that will have significant impacts on millennials as they enter this stage of life.
We are living longer
On average, we are all living longer (admittedly, average life expectancy in the United States has dropped recently, but the trend over the past century is acutely up and to the right). There are many compelling statistics:
- By 2050, one-fifth of the total U.S. population will be aged 65 or older.
- The number of people aged 85 or older will grow the fastest over the coming decades, constituting 4% of the population by 2050 (a 10x increase from 1950).
- One in 20 women aged 40 today will live to 100.
- 1 in 10 girls born today will live to 100.
Who will be caring for this significant and growing segment of the population?
Millennials enter the fold
As these demographic trends take shape, we can expect not only for the size of the sandwich generation to increase but for its makeup to change as more millennials join it.
More than 10 million millennials are currently unpaid caregivers in the United States—one-quarter of the total unpaid caregiver population. These millennial caregivers spend, on average, $7,000 in caregiving expenses each year. As these numbers grow, this financial—not to mention emotional—strain becomes even more significant. The opportunities for technology to intervene and ease the burden on caregivers are vast.
Investing in senior care
An aging population presents an enormous market opportunity: a recent estimate sizes the senior care market at $1.5 trillion by 2024. Targeting senior care as an investment thesis is nothing new, and investors have taken note as described in articles like Startups Serving The Elderly Are Tech’s Next Big Market.
More specifically, AARP has studied at length models for designing for caregivers. These insights can help direct investment dollars to areas that will drive the most impact. AARP highlighted care coordination, emergency alerting, and in-home aide services as three key areas requiring both innovation and investment.
This market map from Medha Agarwal at Redpoint Ventures from 2016 is an excellent primer on the state of the senior care startup market:
The real opportunity
As more millennials become caregivers, products and services that bridge the gap between elderly care and millennial users present real opportunity.
Of the services listed above, and those launched in the years since, very few are designed for the millennial caregiver. The usual stereotypes about millennial consumer expectations can be tiresome, but many are relevant here.
This new generation of caregivers is more digitally literate than ever before. They have witnessed firsthand consumerization across industries. Now, they are entering this new phase of responsibility with fully formed consumer expectations.
For the millennial helping an elder set up a will, shouldn’t it be as seamless as setting up an account with Robinhood? Shouldn’t end-of-life planning be as intuitive as taxes with Intuit?
One senior care company that is designing for millennial caregivers is Cake. Cake provides end-of-life and advanced care planning services, designed to bring family caregivers and seniors together in the planning process.
This excerpt from co-founder Suelin Chen highlights the struggle for families and caregivers and how Cake can ease their burden as well as that of the patient:
Patients’ families have to either be extremely proactive advocates or get lucky and encounter a clinician that will present options clearly. This challenge got me thinking about how to contribute to healthcare more directly.
The Cake model aims to facilitate early conversation between patient and family or caregiver, fostering ongoing dialogue and information sharing:
Cake seeks to help people and their loved ones think about their final wishes by asking simple questions about life and death in an almost Tinder-like format. The platform uses the answers to create a “living document” that can be easily updated and shared with others.
Crucial here is the focus on bringing the caregiver into the conversation and becoming part of the facilitation of last wishes. Not only does the flow of the product encourage collaboration and sharing, but the features are also geared towards someone who is used to, say, creating content in Google Docs or sharing content through Dropbox.
This is precisely the type of targeted design and integration for millennial caregivers that founders should be building to capture this growing market.
There is a lack of senior care services designed for millennial end-users. Investors can expect increasing demand for services among millennial caregivers, including:
- Estate and financial planning
- End-of-life planning
- Caregiver community, support, and education
Founders building senior care solutions should consider the changing nature of the “sandwich” generation and their importance as caregivers and, ultimately, consumers of these products and services.
To contact the author: LinkedIn or @cvharps
July 8, 2019 at 10:02AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs