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We are All Aging ... 6 Shifts to Support to Make Old Age Healthier

The number of older adults, 65+ age, is expected to more than double by 2050, growing from 9.4 % to 16.5% of the total global population. People are living longer but not necessarily in good health, leading to increases in care and dependency.

McKinsey Health Institute report (Nov 2022), found

“A person on average will live ten more years in medium or poor health, impacting the ability to live life fully and leading to increases in care and dependency.”

They identified six shifts that governments, businesses/brands, and individuals can make to enable significant improvement in healthy aging across four dimensions: physical, mental, social, and financial.

1: INVEST IN THE PROMOTION OF HEALTHY AGING to improve the quality of life and increase social and economic contribution of older people, while potentially reducing long-term healthcare costs. Put effort against prevention, focused on age-related conditions such as dementia and sensory impairments, as well as strategies to encourage lifelong physical activity and improve nonclinical factors such as housing, social connections, and fitness.

2: IMPROVE MEASUREMENTS OF HEALTH AND GET BETTER DATA to enable a better understanding of the widely varying needs of older adults and track specific conditions over time. Develop standardized data catalog and measurements, as well as collaborative data sharing and integration across public institutions, healthcare, academia, businesses, and individuals.

3: SCALE INTERVENTIONS PROVEN TO PROMOTE HEALTHY AGING, such as improving access to care, addressing the social determinants of health, and promoting self-management. These interventions can be scaled through policy, technology, and financing mechanisms.

4: ACCELERATE INNOVATION ACROSS THE HEALTHY AGING ECOSYSTEM, incorporating technology and innovation to address the unique needs and preferences of older adults, such as utilizing wearable devices and telehealth to monitor and manage conditions, and designing products and services with an aging population in mind.

5: UNLEASH THE POTENTIAL OF ALL INDUSTRIES TO ENABLE HEALTHY AGING by providing opportunities for older adults to continue learning and working, through which they can maintain mental and social connections, contribute to society, and potentially increase their financial stability.

6: Empower and motivate older adults to live to their full potential through self-directed practices for lifelong healthy aging include physical activity, healthy diets, social connections, and cognitive engagement. Provide inclusive public infrastructure for active participation, not dependence.

Brands should more deeply understand the current and unmet needs of their older consumers and develop relevant products and services for them. The size of this growing group is significant and can be basis for incremental revenue.

McKinsey’s report provides more detail with great examples to review.

Don’t forget – WE are all aging! Let it be in better health.


McKinsey Health Institute: Living longer in better health: Six shifts needed for healthy aging; November 2022


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