Personal Alarms – solving the problem of affordable independent living for an ageing population. Part 2… The Problem.
Welcome back to Part 2 of Bora Health’s series of articles on solving the problem of maintaining independent living for an ageing world through the use of high quality yet affordable life saving assistive technology.
Part 2 explores the problems facing an ageing Australian population and what we may face in the future if we do not provide suitable solutions now:
1 . Ageing & the impact on state support
The majority of western countries are characterised by ageing populations with low population growth rates, while the demography of the developing world is broadly characterised by youthful rapidly growing populations.
Baby boomers make up 28% of the Australian population and 42% of the labour force. In 2011, this cohort began passing the 65-year threshold and people are beginning to leave the workforce in significant numbers.
This age distribution will have an impact on national productivity, the way we produce our goods and services and the way in which our education, training and migration programs address these challenges.
By 2041, the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts that one in five people will be over 65 and 7% of the population will be aged over 80
In short, there will be an increased number of Australians aged over 65 both in numeric value and as a percentage of the overall population. This will be a ‘double hit’ as the number of people requiring the increased levels of state assistance associated with senior living (e.g. sheltered accommodation, home help, etc.) will increase and the proportion of those in the workforce contributing to the economy will decrease. The level of Government funding available will reduce which means that those requiring assistance with living will have to find alternative methods of funding.
Who will pay the medical bills when the baby boomers reach old age? The current crisis in health care and hospital waiting lists may well be early warning signs of a far more significant crisis to come.
2. Lack of financial preparedness for retirement
A recent white paper released in 2013 by superannuation industry giant REST Industry Super, and titled ‘The Journey Begins,’ found that 86% of Australia’s 5.5 million baby boomers are, in varying degrees, financially unprepared for retirement. 35% described themselves as being completely unprepared.
The 2007 Bureau of Statistics report into retirement, released in 2009, found the median superannuation balance of $71,731 for workers aged between 55 and 64. Factor in that recent reports indicate that super funds are only now returning to their pre-GFC levels, there is little to suggest that this position has changed.
When you consider the cost of living in a retirement or nursing home is up to $44.54 per day, $16,257 per year (https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ageing-finance-resfees.htm), there is a clear funding gap between people’s net worth upon reaching retirement and the costs associated with moving into assisted living. Without even factoring in the day-to-day costs of food, power and other essentials, the average Australians retirement savings would only provide for less than 4 years of accommodation.
Shifting the focus from the macro level, studies of individual seniors reveal similar findings, with Financial Security, Failing Physical Health and Loss of Independence all ranking in the top 5 concerns people have with getting older.
Who is Bora Health?
Bora Health is a community interest company committed to the belief that the ability to continue to live independently and age with dignity should be the right of everyone, not only for those that can afford it. Using that guiding principle, the business was built with the goal of providing a high quality product and service at a price that is affordable to all.
Bora Health is an Australian, United Kingdom and United States owned and operated personal alarm company committed to providing elderly care services to an ageing world. Using technology and innovation, Bora Health aims to enhance the feeling of being safe and secure in your own home.
Look out for part 3 next week, where Bora Health identify what we can do to support independent living now and in the future.
Can’t wait until next week? Need a solution to support independent living now? Click here to see how the SureSafe Personal Emergency Call System could help you or a loved one right now. Peace of mind at the push of a button.