Since days of old, the concept of joint families has ensured mutual support and care for all in the family, especially the elderly. However, with the advent of nuclear families and an exponential rise in the number of women in the workforce, caring for the elderly has emerged as a major concern. To address this growing concern, geriatric care has emerged as a highly lucrative market in the service sector. Rapid strides made in medical science and easier access to medical facilities have ensured increased life-span, fueling the growth of the elderly population. On the flip side, rising morbidity rates and increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases have increased the dependence of this population on healthcare givers, in turn catapulting geriatric care as a sustainable and lucrative business proposition. Nursing homes, in-home care, and assisted-living facilities are some of the programs that ensure proper care of geriatric patients. The inability to handle daily tasks, a noticeable decline in health, and non-proximity to loved ones due to remote residence location are major reasons why elderly people seek geriatric care services. Geriatric care services proactively assess, plan, coordinate, and manage preventive care to improve quality-of-life of the elderly by reducing the risk of hospitalization, frequent nursing home visits/admissions, and reduce the cost of healthcare.
Geriatric care services are broadly classified into skilled care—involves licensed medical personnel’s attention—and custodial care—involves unskilled caretakers assisting day-to-day activities such as bathing, dressing, and administering medication. Another criterion for classification is whether the care is at home or at an assisted-living facility. An assisted-living service is a 24/7 personal care housing-alternative with meals and other basic amenities provided to senior citizens, not in need of intensive care. As the name suggests, home care services are provided to the elderly in the comfort of their homes and are a preferred mode of geriatric care.
Developed countries leading the way for geriatric care market growth
Developed countries provide comprehensive models of healthcare for the elderly that involve the latest treatments, high-comfort, and long-term health insurance. North America and Europe are the largest markets for geriatric care services, mainly due to their robust healthcare infrastructure, high discretionary income, and rapidly aging population. Emerging economies such as India are positioned to be high growth markets for geriatric care over the following decade. This is mainly attributed to the increasing number of women in the workforce and the paradigm shift from large joint families towards nuclear families. Increasing emigration seeking better job prospects in developed countries often creates a scenario, wherein the elderly parents are left behind to fend for themselves. While most of this population is self-sufficient in monetary terms, rapid onset of aging makes them largely dependent on others for their basic daily activities. This creates a highly conducive environment for the growth of the geriatric care services market, which is expected to gain major traction in these regions in the near future.
Key Players supporting market growth are Senior Care Centres of America, Genesis HealthCare LLC, Brookdale Senior Living Inc, Sunrise Senior Living LLC. Significant mergers such as Genesis HealthCare LLC-Skilled Healthcare Group Inc and Senior Care Centres of America-The Adult Day Health Services Centre of Family Matters and acquisitions help sustain market growth.
Virtual Companion Care to replace human companionship in the future
Companion Care Technology is a 24×7 Internet-based application on tablets, in which an animated character reads the newspaper, discusses topics of interest, responds to queries, provide updates about the family, and at pre-set times even has a conversation with the user remind him about taking medication. This is poised to be a major breakthrough in geriatric care, as it eliminates the need for a caretaker on-site, significantly reduces costs and allows a sense of independence and companionship at the same time to the elderly. It also allows family members to receive regular status-reports and logs of conversation between the elderly and the digital companion.
Physical disabilities, cancer, heart surgery, joint replacements, neurological, and psychological disorders are common maladies widespread among the elderly, irrespective of their socio-economic status. These ailments involve expensive treatment and after-care expenses leading to stress, further emphasizing the importance of genuine geriatric care. Geriatric care is a high-cost service unaffordable to most common people. Humane approach and optimal-solutions to make it cost-effective would make the service accessible to the general public and help provide much deserved better living conditions for the elderly during the fag end of their lives.
To know more about the latest market trends and insights, read the report titled, “GLOBAL GERIATRIC CARE SERVICES MARKET, BY SERVICE TYPE (HOME HEALTHCARE, ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES, ADULT DAY CARE SERVICES, CONTINUING CARE, SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES), AND BY GEOGRAPHY – TRENDS, ANALYSIS, AND FORECAST TILL 2024”, published by Coherent Market Insights. Click on the link below to access the report –