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Market Size of Elderly Population

In: Business and Management

Submitted By pnkpenqwen
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The United States is experiencing a huge increase in the number of seniors, as well as increased levels of care and needed assistance. In 2010, seniors, age 65 and older, comprised approximately 13% of the U.S. population at 40.3 million. It is projected, that by 2050, that number will grow to 20.9%.1

Several factors are contributing to the increase in the elderly population, including that people are living longer and the baby boomer generation, one of the largest, is starting to enter into their 60’s. Although there is no age cut off or recommendation, there are guidelines on when to stop driving. People are now living an average of 7 to 10 years beyond their ability to drive safely.2

Despite having numerous transportation options, from public busses, trains, taxis, there exists a gap in the market for reliable and affordable transportation for the elderly population who can no longer drive, or chooses not to. Currently, the only widespread ride options are transport vans, which are expensive unless there is merited and documented need, such as for the severely dependent. Some senior living complexes offer shuttles to grocery stores, but there is a lack of dependable day to day transportation offerings. Therefore this population usually relies heavily on family members support, with an estimated 35% dependency rate.3

What we propose is a driving service specifically for seniors that provide affordable services, along with an arm to lean on as they go from door to door, not just curb to curb. These services would be run as an independent company and by independent contractors. There are opportunities to partner with physician offices to include ride scheduling with appointment scheduling. There are also opportunities to partner with Medicare, which could in turn provide opportunities for reimbursement for rides.

The idea is to create a national network, starting in key regional areas, and expanding out.
Considerations for places to start this venture are not only overall population density, but also number of seniors living in that area.

From the map below, we have identified key cities to start building the network. These pioneer cities include Bradenton, Florida, with perhaps the highest senior population, at 25%, and neighboring cities with percentages also in the twenties. From there, key cities include San Jose, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Raleigh, North Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Seattle, Washington.

Population over age 65 per square mile: From http://geovisualist.com/2013/12/16/where-do-the-elderly-live/

The structure of this venture is simple, yet unique. With very little infrastructure needed, it is expected that profit can be turned within a two year period, and dependent upon adoption, even within the first year. The business plan is modeled after Uber, however, rides need to be scheduled, and do not solely focus around having a mobile app. Scheduling can be done through a phone call, the website, or an app, and is required 24 hours in advance. The differentiation factor comes with the arm to lean on, ensuring the rider gets from door to door safely, preventing falls, not just curb to curb. There is also the ability to book the driver for a block of time, so that they are ready and waiting when an appointment is finished, or when the grocery shopping is done, all at an affordable rate.

In a worst case scenario, adoption is slow, and there is no partnering with physician offices or Medicare, and the company is slow to recover costs from the technology infrastructure. In a best case scenario, adoption is quick, and partnerships are formed with physician offices, and/or Medicare, which allows for fast expansion throughout key cities, surrounding areas, and new territories. This would result in a highly profitable company within 5 years. Looking at the speed and success Uber has had, and the need for rides in this population, we can expect a moderate to fast adoption rate, and ease of partnering with smaller physician offices.

With the rapidly aging population, we need to strongly consider who will be helping our seniors on a day to day basis. Their children are often busy with their own full time jobs, and their children. Seniors are also electing to stay in their own homes longer, and keep their independence as long as possible. Providing reliable and affordable transportation will enable their independence and relieve the burden from their family members.

_________________________
1United States Census Bureau. www.census.gov
2Senior Driving at AAA. seniordriving.aaa.com
2U.S. Senate Focuses on Senior Transportation. www.leadingage.org/…...

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