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US Seniors and Health market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Seniors and Health market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report explores the consumer attitudes and behaviors of Seniors (aged 65+) toward personal health as well as attitudes toward professional healthcare services.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

  • Younger Seniors: internet users aged 65-74
  • Older Seniors: internet users aged 75+

Key points included

  • Loneliness is a key issue
  • Incomes among Senior households are lower
  • Seniors lack attention to weight management and mental health

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Marissa Gilbert, a leading analyst in the Health & Wellness sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The number of Seniors, adults aged 65+, is on the rise. By 2023, the US population of Seniors will be 61.6 million strong, accounting for 23.2% of the total US population – up from 20.6% in 2018. Today’s Seniors express a positive, realistic attitude toward health. Focusing on preventive health and self-care seem to drive Seniors’ contentment and confidence in their ability to take care of their own wellbeing. While Seniors are increasingly tech-savvy, they remain dedicated to the basics of health management and prioritize enjoyment in their golden years. Marissa Gilbert
Associate Director - Health & Wellness

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview: Seniors represent fastest growing segment of US population
          • Figure 1: Population aged 18 or older, by age, 2018-23
        • The issues
          • Seniors lack attention to weight management and mental health
            • Figure 2: Health conditions – Seniors vs all, August 2018
          • Loneliness is a key issue
            • Figure 3: Mental health management, by household size and martial status, August 2018
          • Incomes among Senior households are lower
            • Figure 4: Household income distribution, shares by age of householder, 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Seniors maintain a positive health outlook
              • Figure 5: Attitudes toward health and wellbeing, August 2018
            • Preventive health and self-care are essential wellness tools for Seniors
              • Figure 6: Motivations for living healthy, August 2018
            • Seniors continue to work
              • Figure 7: Labor force participation rate of adults aged 65 and older, by age, 1996-2026
            • What it means
            • Seniors – What You Need to Know

              • With the arrival of Boomers, Senior population continues to grow
                • Women represent larger share of Senior population
                  • Seniors have lower household incomes
                    • Senior population dominated by White non-Hispanics
                      • Married Seniors face the prospect of becoming widowed as they age
                        • Medicare serves the healthcare needs of the Senior population
                          • Dip in life expectancy among Americans
                            • Seniors are staying employed longer
                            • Seniors by the Numbers

                              • US population continues to age
                                • Figure 8: Population aged 18 or older, by age, 2013-23
                              • Senior women outnumber Senior men
                                • Figure 9: Population aged 65 or older, by gender and age, 2013-23
                              • Incomes among Senior households are lower
                                • Figure 10: Household income distribution, shares by age of householder, 2016
                              • Senior population dominated by non-Hispanic Whites
                                • Figure 11: Distribution of the population, by age and race/Hispanic origin, 2018
                              • Seniors’ marital status and living situation change with age
                                • Figure 12: Distribution of households, by age of householder and type of household, 2017
                                • Figure 13: Marital status, by age, 2017
                            • Market Perspective

                              • Medicare serves Senior population
                                • Figure 14: Health insurance coverage, August 2018
                                • Figure 15: Attitudes toward healthcare, August 2018
                                • Figure 16: Attitudes about healthcare costs, by age, August 2018
                            • Market Factors

                              • After decades of increases, life expectancy among Americans drops
                                • Figure 17: Life expectancy in the US, 1940-2016
                              • The Boomers are here
                                • Figure 18: Population, by generation, 2018
                              • Seniors remain in the labor force
                                • Figure 19: Labor force participation rate of adults aged 65 and older, by age, 1996-2026
                                • Figure 20: Unemployment and underemployment, January 2007-October 2018
                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                              • Seniors prioritize proactive, self-care
                                • Health coverage meets the needs of most Seniors
                                  • Loneliness and other mental health issues hard to diagnosis in Seniors
                                    • Seniors less engaged in weight management
                                      • Exercise offers opportunity to engage Seniors
                                        • Tech-savvy Seniors? – increasingly so!
                                          • Boomers change Senior living with wellness demands
                                          • What’s In?

                                            • Preventative health and self-care are important to Seniors
                                              • Figure 21: Frequency of practicing self-care, by age, October 2017
                                              • Figure 22: Usage of select vitamins, minerals, and supplements, by age, June 2018
                                              • Figure 23: Health attributes sought, by age, May 2018
                                            • Seniors are satisfied with health coverage
                                              • Figure 24: Health attributes sought, by age, May 2018
                                          • What’s Struggling?

                                            • Seniors struggle with mental health as a taboo subject
                                              • Figure 25: Mental health management – Seniors vs all, August 2018
                                            • Loneliness is a key issue
                                              • Figure 26: Mental health management, by gender, household size, and marital status, August 2018
                                            • Fewer Seniors manage their weight
                                              • Figure 27: Weight management – Seniors vs all, August 2018
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • Engage Seniors in exercise
                                              • Figure 28: Exercise frequency, by age, September 2018
                                            • Smart tech offers promise for Seniors
                                              • Boomers want wellness as part of Senior living
                                                • Figure 29: Perceptions of retirement communities, February 2016
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Mobility and chronic illness are key health focuses among Seniors
                                                • Seniors are active health managers
                                                  • Prevention of sickness and pain motivate Seniors to live healthfully
                                                    • Seniors trust their doctors for health information
                                                      • Seniors are confident in their ability to take care of their own wellbeing
                                                      • Health Focuses

                                                        • Seniors focus on mobility and managing chronic illnesses
                                                          • Figure 30: Health focuses – Seniors vs all, August 2018
                                                        • Low-income Seniors are less focused on exercise
                                                          • Figure 31: Health focuses, by income, August 2018
                                                        • Senior women taking a more holistic approach
                                                          • Figure 32: Health focuses, by gender, August 2018
                                                      • Health Management

                                                        • Seniors take care of basics but eschew mental health
                                                          • Figure 33: Health condition management, August 2018
                                                        • Senior women show a better response toward mental health care
                                                          • Figure 34: Health condition management – Mental health, by gender, August 2018
                                                        • Weight challenges younger Seniors, aging ailments have a greater impact on older Seniors
                                                          • Figure 35: Currently managing body weight, heart health, arthritis, bone density, and urinary issues, by age, August 2018
                                                        • Low-income Seniors less likely to treat oral health
                                                          • Figure 36: Health condition management – Dental health, by income, August 2018
                                                        • Arthritis and bone density management sought by Senior women
                                                          • Figure 37: Health condition management – Arthritis and bone density health, by gender, August 2018
                                                      • Motivations for Healthy Living

                                                        • Seniors focus on mobility and managing chronic illnesses
                                                          • Figure 38: Motivations for living healthy – Seniors vs all, August 2018
                                                        • Senior men are motivated by their spouse/partner
                                                          • Figure 39: Motivations for living healthy, by gender, August 2018
                                                        • Higher-income Seniors take part in proactive care to enjoy retirement, travel
                                                          • Figure 40: Motivations for living healthy, by income, August 2018
                                                      • Information Sources

                                                        • Medical professionals provide the most trustworthy information
                                                          • Figure 41: Information sources, August 2018
                                                        • Senior women more apt than men to trust online and news sources
                                                          • Figure 42: Information sources, by gender, August 2018
                                                        • Higher-income Seniors have trust in medical professionals
                                                          • Figure 43: Information sources, by income, August 2018
                                                      • Attitudes toward Health and Wellbeing

                                                        • Seniors happy and confident in their health management
                                                          • The mental health discussion
                                                            • Wearable devices offer opportunity
                                                              • Figure 44: Attitudes toward health and wellbeing, August 2018
                                                            • Senior women keep up with health trends
                                                              • Figure 45: Attitudes toward health and wellbeing – Net agree, by gender, August 2018
                                                            • Younger Seniors don’t think of themselves as old
                                                              • Figure 46: Attitudes toward health and wellbeing – Net agree, by age, August 2018
                                                            • Lower-income Seniors regret past choice and have less hope for change
                                                              • Figure 47: Attitudes toward health and wellbeing – Net agree, by income, August 2018
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                            • Data sources
                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                  • Abbreviations