Who is scared of the Silver Tsunami?

Cartoon by Graeme MacKay

Cartoon by Graeme MacKay

One of the biggest mega trends impacting the world today is population aging. By 2020, for the first time in history, the number of people older than 65 will outnumber the number of children younger than 5 years of age. In the next 25 years, the number of people older than 65 will double. Today, the average yearly cost to the health-care system of someone aged 65-69 is roughly $6,700. For someone aged 80-84 the average cost is $15,000, and over 90 it is $26,000. As people live longer, there will be a sharp increase in the number of people with dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, 25% to 30% of people aged 85 and older have a high level of cognitive decline

Source: Canadian Institute for Health Information, National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2010, 1975 to 2010

Source: Canadian Institute for Health Information, National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2010, 1975 to 2010

Globally there are an estimated 47.5 million dementia sufferers, and the number is expected to increase to 75.6 million by 2030 and 135.5 million by 2050. That means also a doubling of the healthcare cost for the elderly. At the moment the global cost of Alzheimer’s and dementia is estimated to be $605 billion, which is equivalent to 1% of the entire world’s gross domestic product. Just think about the scale, and this is only one type of another dozen age-related degenerative diseases. 

This will not only overwhelm the health-care system, but render hundreds of thousands elderly and their families destitute. It's about time to act!