Eric Schubert

Eric Schubert is a vice president at Ecumen, an innovative nonprofit senior housing and services company based in Shoreview. He oversees communications, branding, public affairs and the Ecumen "Changing Aging" blog (www.changingagingblog.org). He writes about aging and change resulting from it in innovation, how we live, wellness, public policy and beyond.

Aging is Setting the Table for Global Transformation

Posted by: Eric Schubert under Society Updated: April 13, 2011 - 8:47 PM
 
 
The future announces itself from the horizon. And looking there, aging presents one of the greatest opportunities for innovation to make life better.  Ideally, Minnesota ingenuity and innovation will play a global role in the changing world of aging.  
 
We're all growing older.  Uncommon, though, is the sheer number of people worldwide moving to old age at one time.  An aging population combined with their consumer preferences, lifestyle choices, hobbies, health conditions and more will open the door to substantial change in all facets of living.
 
Many of the numbers below are daunting, especially when you look at the prevalence of Alzheiemer's.  But consider this . . .
We’ve been given more time to accomplish more progress than ever before. In ancient Rome, old age was 22. In 1900, U.S. life expectancy was 45. Today it’s almost 80, with more people than ever reaching the century mark. 

Below are some snapshots from the horizon we have to work with to transform tomorrow:

 
Senior Population Surging, Centenarians Abound
 
 
  • In 2050, we’ll need more than 6 stadiums the size of the Rose Bowl to seat every American centenarian. More than 600,000 Americans are projected to be at least 100 years old. 
 
More Seniors Than Children
 
 
Alzheimer’s and Disability
 
 
 
  • $183 billion: the cost of Alzheimer’s today in America. In 2050, it will cost more than $1 trillion. That is more than the Gross Domestic Product of most countries.
 
It's long been said demographics are destiny.  Upon the horizon, destiny is what we do with demographics.

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