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22 January 2020

Just 20 years into the 21st Century, we have already seen remarkable changes that we could never have anticipated. We’ve come up with 20 predictions that explore what the next 20 years may have in store for your organisation.

Prediction 4

With advances in technology and medicine, the baby boomer generation could well be the first to reach 150. As the number of older people increases, a fundamental change in how we look after them will be crucial.

The baby boomer generation have not been a shy one – they’ve driven big cultural changes and created separate markets across different industries to meet their demands. As they grow older, they will expect dignity, community, independence and flexibility within the aged care industry, and will not settle for anything less. Their demands will revolutionise the delivery of aged care in a sector already challenged by the forthcoming recommendations of the Royal Commission.

Think personalisation. In the future, the nature of the aged care delivered will be tailored to the needs of each person receiving it – their care needs, how they want to lead their lives in retirement and how they hope to balance independent living with support in a care home.

By 2040, a one-size fits all approach will no longer work; far more flexibility will be required. Aged care professionals will need to shift their service proposition accordingly. Technology will play a key role here. The baby boomers are the first generation of older people who will be familiar with and frequent users of technology. This provides opportunities for aged care providers to explore how AR/VR tools, AI, IoT and video-calling can be integrated within their services to meet the needs of the pensioners within their care.

AR/VR has already proven to help wellbeing and engagement levels for people living with dementia, by helping them enjoy new experiences or reliving old ones. IoT and AI will also help to collect and analyse health data to react to and prevent any potential illnesses – and video calls can be made with health professionals to get advice in real-time.

Expect professionals to learn from other industries how to become more innovative to meet the demands of each of the people they support. Collaboration with government, not-for-profits and other organisations will be vital to make this a success, leveraging resources and expertise, identifying new opportunities and driving efficiencies through working together while ensuring that the best quality service is provided.

Trends in baby boomers' demands for aged care

Impact

Older Australians in future generations will have more control over how they live during retirement. They will enjoy a better quality of life, more flexibility and access to a care system that meets their needs as individuals.

Cost and funding will be a constant challenge. We will seek out innovative new ways to keep costs low while ensuring that superannuation funds, federal government and investors are able to meet these costs.

Investing in emerging technology will be a key area for aged care providers to reducing costs while still meeting the needs of those in their care.

Regulation will adapt to enable a more innovative approach to aged care, while still maintaining high quality standards. An industry ‘sandbox’, similar to that created for fintech firms, could enable eligible firms to test new initiatives with customers to make sure they are viable before fully implementing them.

Curious to find out what else could happen between now and 2040? Read our other predictions

Sources

  1. KPMG Newsroom, What do we want aged care to be? Innovative is a good place to begin, October 2019
  2. National Seniors Australia, Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, October 2019
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australia’s changing age & gender profile, September 2018

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