Longevity: Health Wealth of a Nation -4

Returning to the older aging population where the CIHR’s Institute of Aging is concerned: Is there not a “health wealth” employment investment in a foreseeable tomorrow? Judging by what the demographic numbers suggest there will not only be a growth in care related employment opportunities, but also an augmentation in unpaid caregiving.

My preferred reference on describing this matter is Theodore Roszak – in what he called the “compassionate economy”. I always return to his book Longevity Revolution from 2001. Opportunity in “health wealth”? In the 21st century, says Roszak, “geriatric care may take the place of high tech as the unfolding frontier of opportunity.”

So what we need, as he further suggests is “more compassionately gifted people”. If that’s the case that certainly changes the way we place emphasis on what we teach and groom in the education system, and the way we position career choices that people might consider rewarding. The same thing can be relevant for spotting business opportunities.

Roszak talks about “impersonal compassion” and mercantile as that may sound, that is what drives some business models. At the Sheridan Centre for Elder Research Age Aware Summit in June this year, marketing advisor Dick Stroud reminded us that considering larger numbers of “older old”, the days are soon approaching, where we may see what he called “panic investments” in care and health support.

Well the panic can be heard now in public debate, even if investment choices are not clearly decided. Our foreseeable tomorrow is already here.

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