There’s more room than ever for companies looking to enter the aging-in-place arena and serve the needs of seniors. That’s just one major takeaway from a new report produced by venture capital firm Primetime Partners and thinktank First Longevity.
Over the long term, there are demographic changes that will increase the need for aging-in-place services. By 2050, more than 4 million people in the U.S. will be over the age of 80, for example, and people who are 65 and older will account for more than 30% of the population.
On top of that, 90% of seniors across the U.S. would prefer to remain living in their homes as they age, according to the Primetime-First Longevity report.
No doubt, demographic shifts and the popularity of aging-in-place have ushered in a wave of companies that have launched with the sole purpose of addressing the difficulties seniors face when choosing to grow older in their homes, Abby Miller Levy, managing partner at Primetime Partners, told Home Health Care News.
“It’s widely already known that Americans want to age in place,” she said. “There is an increasing number of startups that are addressing this challenge. A lot of those startups, frankly, have been founded just in the last two or three years. Startups are emerging to rise to the challenge.”
Levy would know. Her company, Primetime Partners, was founded in 2020 with a focus on aging services and senior care. The New York-based VC firm provides seed and early-stage investments in products, services, technologies and experiences related to aging.
One key way companies are entering into the space is by tackling loneliness and isolation among seniors. Loneliness and isolation impacts roughly 7% to 17% of seniors, according to the report.
In general, socially isolated seniors are at risk for serious medical conditions.
“COVID-19 really shined a light on social isolation among seniors because of the physical limitations and the need to quarantine,” Levy said.
Levy pointed to Primetime portfolio company GetSetUp as an example of an aging-in-place business that directly addresses the loneliness epidemic. GetSetUp is an interactive digital hub that gives seniors access to classes on topics ranging from fitness to technology.
The report also notes that technology is a key driver in the aging-in-place services arena.
As technology continues to advance, this acceleration will also play a role in the future of care. This includes tech such as wearables, sensory aids, hygiene devices and smart home devices, according to the report.
“There is a real interest in engaging with technology to improve the experience of aging and life,” Levy said. “This notion that seniors and technology don’t mix is really a myth. And it’s a myth that is unraveling because today’s 60- and 70-year-olds were in the workplace with technology. They are used to technology, and COVID accelerated the penetration of technology.”
Indeed, seniors are estimated to spend more than $200 billion annually on tech products. Additionally, tech adoption among seniors is higher than ever before, according to AARP.
In addition to GetSetUp, the report also highlighted other companies making waves in the aging-in-place space including CareWell, EchoCare and SensorsCall.
“Everybody should care about this topic [of aging in place] because it affects health care, financial services, real estate, obviously technology companies,” Levy said. “It is a governmental issue, as well as a private-sector issue.”