Healthy Aging

Aspiring to ever-greater levels of functioning and flourishing later in life, including defining and scaling sustainable, enriching, dignified models of elder participation and care

The global population is aging faster than ever before.1 This is particularly pronounced in many middle-income countries in regions like Latin America or South and East Asia.2 The inversion of the age pyramid is forcing many societies across the globe to re-assess their social contracts for involvement of, contribution from, and care for the elderly.

Healthy aging, maintaining a high-functional status later in life, and ensuring social integration at higher ages will be critical for all societies worldwide.

Many of the accelerating age-related challenges like dementia have not yet been addressed, even by the most developed countries. The prevalence of such conditions is rapidly increasing, and the investments required to meet the long-term care needs of patients with multiple morbidities is rising fast.3

2.7X

growth

in the population over age 65 expected between 1990 and 20504

>50%

of the global adult disease burden

caused by age-related diseases5

25%

of Americans age 65 or older

are considered socially isolated6

Topics to explore

In collaboration with relevant stakeholders, the McKinsey Health Institute (MHI) is interested in exploring long-term questions such as:

  • How do we as societies rethink prevention, treatment, and improving quality of life for people at risk and suffering from age-related conditions?
  • How can societies keep people in higher age cohorts not only healthier, but more engaged with society, as well?
  • What is the best combination of human strengths and assistive technology to provide elderly care in the future?

Featured Insights

Article - McKinsey Health Institute

Living longer in better health: Six shifts needed for healthy aging

– As many individuals live well past retirement age, stakeholders are examining how interventions, data, and innovation can transform aging.
Podcast

Aging reframed: Seeing aging as an opportunity in healthcare

– An inspiring conversation about aging, women in leadership, and the chance to change the narrative on old age.
Article

Planning for an aging population

– Experts discuss how an aging population will affect many facets of our societies—and will require new partnerships among all types of stakeholders.
Report - McKinsey Global Institute

Prioritizing health: A prescription for prosperity

– Could 65 be the new 55? Each year, poor health takes a heavy societal and economic toll. Improving the health of the world’s population would add 10 healthy years in midlife—and much more.
Podcast

Getting to know urban elderly consumers

– Older customers will drive growth in developed markets. But few companies truly understand this segment—and its nuances.

1. “World population ageing 2019: Highlights,” United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2019
2. Nikkil Sudharsanan and David E. Bloom, “The demography of aging in low- and middle-income countries: Chronological versus functional perspectives,” National Academy of Sciences, Jun 26, 2018
3. For more information, see “Dementia,” World Health Organization, Sep 2, 2021
4. “World population ageing 2019: Highlights,” United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2019
5. Angela Y Chang, ScD, et al, “Measuring population ageing: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017,” The Lancet, Elsevier, Mar 2019
6. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, et al, Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Healthcare System, The National Academies Press, 2020

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