Elderly care and the future of social innovation

By Curtis Chang for Stanford Social Innovation Review |

Social innovation tends to care disproportionately about the young. Take a look at the Social Innovation Fund’s initial investments, for example, and you’ll find that more than a third are explicitly targeted at youth, with the rest heavily concentrated on relatively online casino young families and those early to the labor pool. There is not a single initiative on that list that is targeted at the elderly.

This absence is striking on purely demographic grounds. The elderly currently comprise 13 percent of the total population, and in less than 20 years, it is projected that one in five Americans will be over the age of 65.

However, social innovators must address the issues facing this population for reasons beyond demographic coverage. The state of the elderly will actually determine the fate of our entire social innovation field.

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