By 2050, more than one in three Germans will be over 60 years old, as demographic trends have long indicated. From the market perspective, this brings with it a shift in target groups towards more and more potential in older user groups. But which needs does the target group of seniors have and what wishes for the future?
In a representative study with 1,000 respondents in Germany, we investigated the question of what young and old people want for their age.
Timely prevention: health is most important
Both for young and old, the focus is on health. Nearly all respondents (85%) find timely health care crucial; it therefore plays the most important role. Women are more careful with this topic: While 89% of women consider health to be the most important issue, only 81% of men do so. As expected, older people, the 50+ generation, are more healthy than younger people. But the gap is not too wide: 89% in the 50+ generation consider timely health care to be important; for the younger generation it is also 81% (30-49 year-olds) and 80% (18-29 year-olds).
The formalities must also be right: Powers of attorney (78%) and properly sorted document folders with important documents (74%) rank second and third in the priority list. Women and the elderly, who are close to retirement or have even reached it, are significantly more concerned about both issues.
Only in the following ranks, but still by one in three, private old-age provision (68%) and the own will (64%) are mentioned.
Leisure activities in retirement can safely be taken care of later (52%), even the form of living currently concerns only one in two (49%). During one’s lifetime, the topic of funerals is at the end of the retirement planning list.
Products for Seniors
The market for products suitable for seniors is already diverse and present in retail. Even in the weekly assortment of discounters, walkers, mobile phones for seniors and shower stools are included.
When asked which products aimed at seniors have so far been perceived by consumers, it is precisely these classics that are mentioned. From the senior mobile phone with large buttons to the walker to domestic aids such as stair lifts, beds suitable for the elderly or furniture in the bathroom, a wide range of products are mentioned.
Ideal housing at the age of 70
We were also concerned about how the Germans wanted to live in old age. So we openly asked: “How would you like to live at the age of 70?”
The answer was very clear: Your own home, where you can live in old age and remain independent, is the clear favourite. Most of them want to stay as fit and self-determined as possible with their partner or family.
When asked about living in old age, people’s main question is “where”. Every third statement on the topic was concerned with the place, namely the own house or apartment, the “home”, the garden or even the old people’s flat.
The second big block of statements are emotions. Living in old age arouses a variety of feelings, as the most important aspect which emerged: is that the interviewees want to live in their own homes and in their own surroundings. Preferably together with loved ones. On a functional level, it is important for people to remain “independent” and “healthy”. They want a ground-level, barrier-free and age-appropriate environment, but the “green” and nature also follow these basic requirements.
The people with whom you want to shape your life in old age are primarily your partner, your family and your children. Followed by other seniors and friends. In old age, the doctor increasingly comes into play.
Regarding the analysis: Our text analysis software Dialego SemanticMining uses artificial intelligence to automatically and intelligently condense texts and reveal connections in large amounts of data. The result of the text analyses are maps that reveal the contents and their structure. One type of these maps are TreeMaps. In these, the answers are displayed as a visual mapping. The so-called ontology consists of nine categories that can be seen as a meta-category system: action (red), functional (green), emotional (pink), person (orange), location (brown), time (grey), product (turquoise), brand (blue), advertising (purple).
Types of housing in old age
We were particularly interested in the various forms of housing – in addition to living at home or the classic nursing home – which are particularly relevant for people. We were surprised regarding the first place: multi-generation houses can be pictured by more than half (56%) as a form of housing in old age – in fact across all age groups. Among them, again more women (61%) than men (49%).
Housing with service occupies the second place (55%), followed by nursing groups (49%), in which several senior citizens share a self-determined apartment or house. Maintenance is available as required. However, significantly more women (56%) than men (42%) would move into nursing groups.
This study also confirms that nursing homes abroad are rather exotic. After all, when asked, one in ten (11%) can imagine it in general.
Regarding the study
In June 2018, 1,000 men and women aged 18+ from Germany were interviewed for the study. The study is representative by age and gender. We will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.