Work and income will not need to “pivot around saving for future health and long-term care costs” as the healthcare system is able to focus more on preventing disease and treating people holistically in the coming years, according to a new report on the future of aging in the United States.
“Moreover, fewer people of all ages would need to leave the workforce or pay others to care for loved ones with failing health,” wrote the authors of “The future of aging: What impact might the expansion of health span have on society?” by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. “This could lead to a more flexible, open mindset around what ‘work’ and ‘retirement’ mean.”
Thirty individuals in aging services, policy, innovation and technology spoke with members of the center, who also conducted research to write the report.
For employers, having employees remain in the workforce longer may necessitate training or retraining so they are able to manage the changing demands of the workforce, the authors said.
Other predictions in the report:
- Caregivers may play new roles, fulfilling emotional, companionship and community needs. Or the need for unpaid caregivers may diminish as preventive health efforts and older adults’ abilities to perform activities of daily living improve. Regardless, technology can help address burnout and perform repetitive tasks and other functions.
- In the future, there will be no “senior-focused” products. Solutions that work for younger adults also should work for older adults.
- Depression, loneliness, mental health and behavioral health conditions caused by social determinants will be the “epidemics” of the 2020s and 2030s. “This trend speaks to the larger need to treat the holistic person beyond their physiological needs,” the authors wrote.
The document is available for download here.