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Become an Age-Friendly Business!

Did you know that every day for the next 13 years 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 years of age, and that by 2030 there will be more people in our country age 65 and older than15 and younger? Most people are in shock when they hear this, because they simply have no idea. As a business professional knowing about changes in demographics is important for many different reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is the bottom line. Now is the time to start thinking about the impact that not addressing the needs of an aging population will have on the quantity and quality of people your business or public facility attracts for today and the future.

The importance of making your environment age-friendly cannot be overestimated! People age 50+ hold 80% of our nation’s wealth and comprise over 1/3 of the population. Those who are age 55 to 64 have the highest disposable income of any other age group, and at this very moment many believe that you are totally ignoring them!

If 10,000 boomers turning 65 every day doesn’t motivate you, just know that there are 83.1 million millennials (more in number than the boomers) in the United States who are aging as well. This is not an isolated event that happens to a small set of people. From birth to age 100 everyone is aging.

Perhaps some real-life experiences of the aging population can say it best:

Where I can shop:
“Aging has done a real number on me. I never dreamed that I would not be able to shop at my local mall because I can’t walk as far as I used to be able to. I am forced to shop on-line or at the discount stores because they have mobile shopping carts for me to get around in.”

Why I worry:
“I simply cannot afford to fall when I go places because this can cause me great pain and my health can deteriorate as a result. Electric wheelchairs are just not available and when regular ones are, I have trouble accessing the bathroom and doing what I need to do.

navigating through stores is virtually impossible because the racks are so close together that I can’t get through with a wheelchair.

What in the world?
“I rarely go shopping in malls anymore because there aren’t enough places to sit and the employees in the stores treat me like I am some kind of freak. The lighting isn’t always the best and the checkout counters are too high. I really could use a place to sit down to pay, but there never is any. I don’t like to go to airports for these same reasons. My husband and I avoid flying and have not flown in years. Why is doing what I used to do all of the time suddenly so uncomfortable for me?”

What can I do?
“I can manage to get my power chair into the bathrooms in public facilities but the first obstacle I usually have to overcome is that the doors can be very heavy, and many times they won’t even close. Then, the area around the sink can be very hard to navigate and many times the sink is too high and there is no room for my feet. I have to wait to use the bathroom a lot because there generally is only one stall that I can access. This is my biggest problem because when I have to use the bathroom I generally have to use it now! I tend to avoid going to public places because I worry so much about this.”

What I want:
“Some of the time I sit and imagine what it would be like to enjoy shopping at my favorite places again, I also think about what it was like to enjoy traveling. I feel like getting old is so isolating. I will only go shopping if one of my family members will go with me, but they rarely want to do this because it takes more time. I wish for a place to shop and a means of travel where I can feel comfortable and a part of something again.”

Overlooking the wants and needs of the aging population will cause you to lose out on this incredible business opportunity. We can turn your facility into an Age-friendly Attraction and recover the business of this growing, lucrative segment of the market. Contact us today!

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