The Opportunity with the Aging of America?

Aging in America

America is aging…there is absolutely no doubt about it.  Here is a little snippet from a New York Times article by Timothy Williams:

By 2050, 83.7 million Americans will be 65 or older, compared with 43.1 million in 2012, the report said. Fewer than 10 percent were older than 65 in 1970.

These numbers are astounding and will no less lead to increased disease state populations in the Alzheimer’s/Dementia category amongst others.  This in turn will lead to an increased opportunity for new pharmaceutical compounds to not only assist in caring for the increasing population of Alzheimer’s/Dementia, but many other disease states as well such as hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.  Of late we had seen many of the mergers and acquisitions of the past few years slow down if not stop in pharmaceuticals and many lose their jobs in the industry as a result of redundancy.  But as America ages and disease populations increase will there be a shift in the world of pharmaceuticals as well?  Will there be increased job opportunities?  What industries will benefit the most aside from the pharmaceutical industry considering the statistics of the aging in America?  Let’s take a look!!

The Pharmaceutical Industry:  Currently there are no products on the market that “cure” Alzheimer’s/Dementia.  Take a look at the following link: that speaks to the facts of Alzheimer’s in America.  You will be astounded.  The opportunity therein for a pharmaceutical company to take advantage of these numbers and statistics is huge.  The only thing they must figure out is how to invent or discover a compound that doesn’t just slow the decline of the disease state but rather stops it in its tracks.  Think about it for a moment.  More than 5 million Americas have Alzheimer’s and 1 in 3 elderly will die with Alzheimer’s.  And the numbers are growing!!  Imagine the financial reward for any one company that can figure out how to cure this dreaded disease.  What if a company was able to find a compound that increases cognition for those that have the disease!!  Think about the monetary reward for those companies that have products on the market now even if they do not cure the disease but simply slow the progression.

Home Health Industry:  This industry is absolutely primed to take off to the stratosphere!!  What is Home Health?  There are really two kinds, skilled care and non-medical care.  Skilled care might mean that someone has a wound that needs to be treated or needs medications administered by a professional, or needs IV bags administered etc.  These are tasks that must be done by a Registered Nurse.  Whereas non-medical care includes assistance with what are call activities of daily living (grooming, bathing, dressing, toileting etc) and instrumental activities of daily living (medication reminders, transportation to and from doctors appointments or social engagements, assistance with housekeeping or meal preparation).  As America ages many will need assistance with all of these tasks that many of us take for grated because we are young and able bodies, but there will be a growing number of Americans who wants to stay in their home where they feel most comfortable but need some type of assistance from professional services.  The Home Health industry is well positioned from tremendous growth!!

The Travel Industry:  Eventually people retire and need to occupy their time with social behaviors.  Many will want to travel as their time is limited and perhaps the places they were unable to see because of the busyness of their lives, they will now be able to see.  The travel industry can and will take advantage of the aging population with elderly-centric travel opportunities.  The old school travel agency is perhaps a thing of the past as the internet has overcome it, but such travel sites will truly flourish with the graying of America.

Medical Supplies Industry:  With an aging America population and all of us living longer, more and more medical supplies will be needed.  From items as simple as walkers, canes, and wheelchairs to complex items such as surgical supplies, the medical supplies industry will continue to grow exponentially in the years to come.  There will be an increase in jobs due to innovative products that need marketing and sales.  There already has been an increase in organizations that sell medical supplies, and from insiders we are told that many hospitals are simply utilizing products from the lowest bidders despite quality.  Of course this is concerning, but we will definitely see an uptick of the amount of companies entering this industry and therefore job opportunities.

The OTC Health Industry:  Growing up there was no such thing as the Vitamin Shoppe or GNC.  Now you cannot drive through a shopping center without seeing one.  People are of healthier mind set and want to live longer live.  Despite the fact that we are an obese country obsessed with pharmaceuticals, there is a sense of education now more so than ever before about what health is and what it means to be healthy.  There is a consciousness, if you will, that is now upon us about health.  Innovative products are out there as well and gyms on every corner.  Supplements, vitamins and the like will continue to grow.  Take a look at this excerpt:

Market History:

Over the last ten to fifteen years, sales in the global nutrition and supplements market have seen an unprecedented spike. This has encouraged a number of new players to step into the market with products that promise to be the elixir of youth, health, and vitality. According to the estimates of the Nutrition Business Journal report, the global nutrition and supplements market stood at US$96 billion as of 2012. A year later, it was approximately US$104 billion globally.

There are man other industries primed to take advantage of the aging of America….here are just a few.

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