While Gen-Z and the ones coming up after them are leading the way in business and tech, there are still over 75 million senior citizens in the United States today. By “senior citizen,” we mean anyone aged 65 and older. Every day, advances in medicine and research extend Americans’ lifespans by months, years, even decades. Many of your generation can expect to live well past 100 years old! Wouldn’t it be nice to have piles of money for that long life of yours? And wouldn’t it be great to know that the older you get, the better quality of life you’ll enjoy?
An aging population is one of those things that will never go away. Economics may fluctuate, tech may be replaced, and no one can really predict the future of fashion or entertainment. The smart young entrepreneur of today would be wise to think about building a business around the 65 and older demographic.
SETTING UP SMART HOMES
What seems normal and everyday for you isn’t like that for older generations. Not everyone was born with a smartphone in their hand, knowing how to download and use apps.
Young entrepreneurs might consider starting a business that sets up smart home technology for senior citizens – and then patiently teaches them how to use it. From doors that lock automatically, to porch cameras, to automatic shut-off timers on small appliances, smart homes can help keep seniors safe and give their loved ones peace of mind. Just remember that you’ll need to teach your clients (or their parents or grandparents) how to use this smart technology in a way that’s straightforward and simple.
Speaking of teaching tech to the older generations, this is a great way to help seniors stay connected to friends and family. Especially for families that don’t live a short drive from one another, communication technology has become a must-have.
Unfortunately, the older a person gets, the more challenging it becomes to learn new ways of doing things. Chatting with grandchildren on FaceTime or Zoom isn’t that intuitive for a generation that grew up on landlines. And yet, even grade school children today know how to video chat with their friends and parents.
Young entrepreneurs can help bridge that gap with tech tutorials. Consider refurbishing and recycling old tablets and smartphones so that they include only the apps that someone needs and teach them how they work. You can help bridge generations!
As the population gets older, more and more seniors and elderly citizens prefer to “age in place,” rather than move to a nursing home or assisted living facility. And some of them must age in place due to financial circumstances. Whatever the reason, we’re seeing more and more of our elderly living out their years at home.
But while aging in place might be the new reality for so many seniors, it also presents certain challenges. Among those challenges is the freedom and physical ability to just pop out and run errands. This is where big-hearted young entrepreneurs like you come in.
You can set up your business based on geographic location, dates and times, or specific needs – you’re the one who picks up prescriptions, returns library books, walks dogs, or feeds cats. You don’t even need anything fancy to get started, just your own two feet!
No, not that kind of matchmaking!
Growing old and aging in place after a spouse has died, and without family nearby, can be isolating and lonely. This, in turn, can lead to depression, inattention to personal care and hygiene, and, ultimately, a decline in physical health.
But older adults have much to offer, including advice on business and entrepreneurship! They’ve lived through things younger people can’t possibly imagine, have had experiences they are eager to share, and know things worth passing on.
Starting a business that provides elderly citizens with a little bit of company for a while is a wonderful way to give back to your community. Play games, read stories, help around the house, or just listen to what they have to say. We guarantee you’ll learn something incredible!
CENTRALIZING ELDER CARE
For the family members of a senior citizen, organizing care and services can seem like a full-time job. There are doctors’ appointments, medications, home nurse visits, and more.
As a young entrepreneur with a big heart, you can make life easier for everyone by creating an app that coordinates care across devices. With the same app, every family member can see whose turn it is to drive Grandma to physical therapy or whether someone checked in on Grandpa to make sure he took his medications. With one tap, you help a family avoid playing phone tag or pages-long text chains.
On the same topic, apps can help families and patients keep track of diagnoses, medications, procedures, and doctors. Having all that information at the tap of a finger saves time and brain storage!
Are there elderly members of your community in need? A great way for young entrepreneurs to give back is to start a business that collects and delivers certain supplies to elderly citizens who can’t always afford everyday items. Some things you can collect:
- Adult diapers
- Diabetic socks
- Large-print books
- Denture care items
- Fresh produce
- Items for their pets
- Small plants or fresh flowers
- Soap or body wash for sensitive skin
- Paper goods, such as toilet paper
You’d be surprised at how far a little bit can go when it comes to brightening someone’s day!
Taking care of the elderly is one of those types of social entrepreneurship that makes you feel good inside. You’re doing a wonderfully selfless thing for one of our most vulnerable populations. And you know they appreciate it! With any luck, as you get older – say, 160 years old! — there will be someone like you around to make your life happier, easier, and better all around.
Young entrepreneurs who attend high school in Florida may be eligible for a Kantner Foundation college scholarship. Click here to learn about what we offer and how to apply.