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1st time in history: People over 64 outnumber children under 5

As of 2018, the global number of people over the age of 64 officially eclipsed the number under the age of 5, according to a report from Our World In Data. This is the first time in history—or at least, for as long as we’ve been keeping track—that this happened.

Every time an advance in medicine prolongs our life expectancies, the size and value of the elderly care market increases. That makes more room for companies that service seniors directly and those that focus on their caregivers. From the loneliness of isolation, to physical limitations, to transportation needs, the problems seniors face are currently being worked on by hundreds of innovative startups.

Rendever, which helps seniors hike Macchu Picchu and go on other adventures via VR, and Silvernest, which helps elderly homeowners rent rooms in their homes to younger roomates, are two examples of companies attempting to address the feelings of loneliness and isolation that seniors often report. Steadiwear makes a glove that suppresses tremors and helps seniors to hold things—like coffee cups—steadily. Even Lyft is involved, partnering with a number of operators—including one called GoGoGrandparent—to offer monitored rides for the elderly.

Assuming modern medicine continues to increase our average life expectancy, the growth of the senior population is unlikely to slow down. In fact, the UN predicts that the over-64 population will double between 2018 and the mid-2040s. With all this growth, the elderly care industry is a market perfect for innovators.