Market trends to be aware of as the life expectancy of our elderly parents continues to change the population demographic in the U.S.

— Financial assets, and debt: According to a recent market report, elders age 75+ average approximately $150,000 in assets. But the average 65-year-old enters retirement years with outstanding debt from mortgages and helping with children educational expenses.

— According to AARP, 117 million Americans are expected to need assistance of some kind by 2020. This is roughly 1/3 of U.S. population.

— Personal Emergency products, such as mobile devices (example, watches or pendents worn by elderly) will begin to combine smart technology (health history) with predictive analytics in an effort to prevent future injury and avoid re-hospitalization.

— Current projections indicate there will be a shortage of care staff or available family members to provide home care services to the tidal wave of elderly in future years.

— Independent senior living communities are increasingly being asked to provide services out of their area of expertise, and much different from their original business offering. More and more seniors are aging in place. And taking care of a frail elderly population requires much more staff support and expense than “independent” living.

— More and more physicians will begin to offer home “visitation” services. In addition, they will utilize “tele-health”, incorporating video conferencing or mobile apps which will enable some level of diagnosis and quick results without the requirement of an office visit.

— Old dogs may need to learn new tricks. To efficiently utilize some technologies to best advantage, many elders will need “training” to keep up with device usage.

— Health Care Reform Act: It may not get any cheaper. Recently, a major health insurance provider announced they were stepping away from this business…due to lack of profits. If big business can’t make a profit, it will lessen the number of players providing services…which will drive up cost and pricing, or simply limit coverage options, for enrolled consumers.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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