Longevity BIG Opportunity for Women

aging in place CAPS women of color

I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.

-John D. Rockefeller

Women Aging = BIG Opportunity

It’s fitting that the nation’s first baby boomer is female; Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, born just a second after midnight on New Year’s Day 1946 which earned her a title: The country’s first baby boomer. Fitting because, although men do get old—women get older…and aging in suburbia is mainly a women’s issue for longevity reasons.

Women’s longevity has its challenges

  1. More likely to be alone in old age
  2. 65+ Poverty rates 2Xs higher than males
  3. Living longer with chronic diseases at 2.5Xs the rates of Males
  4. Lack of informal caregivers
  5. Aging in Suburbia = The Architecture of Isolation

According to AARP, four million women 50+ live in households with at least 2 females 50+ and are house-sharing to meet the challenges of aging in suburbia.

BIG Opportunity for Women

The aging population in general, and aging boomer women specifically (niche), will provide an unlimited opportunity for savvy-trend-aware entrepreneurs; particularly women who know what other women might want and need. The growing market lies in the fact that many Goods and services will need to be taken to aging boomer women in suburbia

Aging in Place

The overwhelming majority of older adults prefer aging in place and remaining in their current homes or communities. Most seniors are already aging in place in traditional communities. These communities were built for GIs returning home from WWII with young families. The communities were built largely to accommodate these growing families: Detached single-family houses; large lots; cheap land; accessible by highways; isolated from commerce and traffic.

The First Suburban Generation

The young children of the WWII generation who grew up in suburbia are now as of January 1st, 2011 turning 65 at a clip of 10,000/day; and will do so for the next 16+ years! And most of this demographic transition will occur in the burbs. In fact, 83% of baby boomers live in either small towns, rural areas, or suburbia.

What was once favored for its “get-away” location from big city metropolis and hassles, now has the potential to be a disaster for aging boomers. The suburbs have been termed “the architecture of isolation” by age-friendly city planners for the very same reasons they were appealing to young GIs raising families. Up front is the location—it’s auto-dependent, next is the built environment—it’s youth-dependent. Both conditions are BIG problems off-shore brewing for aging boomers (especially women) who are staying put.

I’d like to see not just more women, but women of color enter this profession of home remodeling for aging in place. It seems to me that this megatrend needs more diversity and empathetic design from professionals who might better understand “the end-users” point of view—given that statistically it’s older and female it makes sense.


How Women of Color are Driving Entrepreneurship

PBS Roommates Wanted 

Careers in Aging in Place


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