According to a report by DN, in 2020, the United Nations (UN) declared the years between 2021 and 2030 as the decade of healthy aging, showing a clear sign that countries should prepare for the challenges that longevity entails, such as maintaining the quality of life. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that, in 2050, the world population over 60 years old will exceed two billion people and that, in Europe, more than a third of the estimated population for that date will be over 65 years old.
Portugal is one of the most aged countries in Europe, currently having around four million people aged 55 or over. This is, therefore, the age group considered to assess the so-called "silver economy", that is, the market for goods and services aimed at seniors.
A study carried out by the Technopolis Group and Oxford Economics for the European Commission - carried out in 2018, but which remains the most recent - estimates indicated that, in 2025, this sector would weigh on the economy, in Europe alone, something as 5.7 billion euros. And great challenges represent good business opportunities: new services will emerge and with them new functions and professions. Active elderly people are consumers of, in addition to traditional products, various types of trips, technology products and services for geriatric care, new integrated therapeutic solutions, consultancy and skills requalification, among many others.
DN investigated businesses that are embracing good practices in relation to the Silver Economy.
Mónica Póvoas, founder of Ageless Portugal, has deepened her awareness that the over-55 market is growing and needs targeted investment. She then decided to turn her knowledge into a real business, creating the company that provides the market with a set of specialized services and products for people in this age group, with the main goal of healthy, more active and more inclusive aging.
"Ageless Portugal, as a communication, marketing and events agency focused on people aged 55 or over, has been working on projects that aim to get to know this market better and, thus, help to draw a profile of the behaviour of its consumer".
"Portugal occupies the 8th position as a European country with the lowest quality of life for its elderly, a ranking led by Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Germany. However, the country already has some initiatives that show concern for its needs ". Mónica Póvoas also claims that brands are more aware that this is a huge and lucrative audience, and that is why they are increasingly attracting their attention due to their ability to adapt to new technologies.
On the other hand, she mentions that the population, when approaching 50 years of age, faces difficulties in professional growth or requalification. "In organizations, those who open up opportunities for attraction and retention, as well as develop new reskilling and upskilling strategies, will continue to have a productive, motivated workforce capable of contributing to business innovation".
Why are there not more “over 55” accommodation complexes that cater for an active ‘older’ population??
There is an ever increasing demand for these enterprises? I for one would be happy to live in an inclusive community with modern facilities, easily accessible and not costing the earth!
By Dougal Gow from Algarve on 30 Jan 2023, 12:53
Most seniors, 55+, pre-retirees or retirees, whatever each wishes to be called, are independent individuals, physically and intellectually active. Many do not wish to consider anything that is perceived as being linked to a "limited" retirement. There is work required to change mindsets and to develop solutions that accompany an inevitable decrease of independence. It is difficult and non-profitable work, so few do it.
An excellent example of where Portugal is lagging is age-appropriate accommodation. Spain is light years ahead. The Algarve offers a great set of conditions, voted the Best Place in the World to retire for 9 years+. Yet the difficulties in creating suitable age-appropriate accommodation continue: planning and associated delays and costs are immense (almost 50% of the price paid by a buyer for new-build real estate are direct or indirect taxes), meaning affordable accommodation in Portugal is unachievable; potential buyers associate the term independent living with care, and intuitively stay clear, an issue partly propagated by the government, via its exclusive focus on tourism activities and its prejudice against the residential real estate sector; and the fact that most real estate agents can sell second home and tourist accommodation much more easily than age-related accommodation.
Anything involving services etc for seniors, while totally valid, is tinkering around the edges.
For Portugal to show it is ready to position itself to take advantage of this trend, a major shift is required: legislative change; commercial adaptation by the sales channels and greater self-awareness by end users. Otherwise this sort of article, very similar to others published year after year, will be all we have.
By Luis from UK on 31 Jan 2023, 11:26