Lesson 1. What is the SILVER ECONOMY?
According to the electrical industries sector contract, the Silver Economy can be defined as a set of economic and industrial activities that benefit and are aimed at senior citizens. It includes all economic activities, services and products designed to meet the needs of people over 50 years of age. It is also referred to as the “economy of the elderly.” The demographic phenomenon of ageing should lead to four times as many people over 80 years of age as today in the next 20 years.
This situation will lead to a number of developments such as :
- An increase in the requirement of home care services and accommodation for elderly people who are gradually losing their independence;
- New needs of the elderly (leisure, transport, housing, etc.).
Thus, the care of the elderly, whether dependent or not, is a major societal challenge. Part of the response to the phenomenon of an ageing population therefore involves:
Therefore, it is necessary to take into account the new needs of the elderly and the development of new services through integration in the field of the Silver Economy in a transversal way. This is why the Silver Economy covers a dozen sectors: housing, communication, transport, e-autonomy, food, security, health, services, distribution, leisure, work and tourism. This shows how broad the Silver Economy is and how it can meet the demands and needs of most seniors.
These activities allow for increased social participation, improved quality and comfort of life, reduced loss of autonomy and increased life expectancy.
The Silver economy is also an industrial and economic opportunity:
– By contributing to the creation of businesses and jobs by facilitating the development of businesses, particularly within the field of social entrepreneurship. It would be useful and interesting to assess the senior public regarding their skills, their needs and what is possible in terms of quantity and quality.
– By enabling existing enterprises to increase their turnover, for example by diversifying, by opening up to fields that are not yet well covered (construction, transport, etc.) and by drawing on the practices of more “commercial” enterprises.
– By consolidating an entire industrial sector, one that today has significant and sustainable development possibilities because it is topical and directly concerns the elderly. For example, the medico-social and social accommodation sectors are potential providers of jobs. They offer administrative, transport, medical and paramedical, social support and entertainment jobs. Furthemore, jobs related to tourism, transport, construction and also the gerontechnology trade are also relevant.
To complete the picture, it could be said that the Silver Economy also allows for a significant advance on a societal level, by optimising the efficiency of the system for dealing with loss of autonomy, by reinforcing prevention, and by giving the elderly a central place in society.
An essential element of the Silver Economy is technological innovation and according to IBERDROLA, the traits that best define Silver Economy consumers are those who:
– have sufficient financial resources;
– want to make the most of their time: travel, have new experiences and do what they have always wanted to do but could not do before due to lack of time;
– are active and want to enjoy a good quality of life (food, active life, leisure, culture).