Stakeholder Group–The “Elderly”

A recent report by Goldman Sachs reported that economic growth in the BRIC countries will be impacted by the fact that young people will have to look more and more after older people. Estimates show that there will be a 46% increase in these countries of people over the ages of 65.

This information reminded me of reading the Commissioner’s report on Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans where it was mentioned that one of the stakeholder groups Emergency Teams were not equipped and prepared to deal with was old people – most not in the medical system. Disaster staff reported dealing with bed ridden old and frail people.

Due to world-wide advances in health care, people will tend to live longer than the median age. More and More reports are showing that many people will not be able to retire and live off their pensions.

This raises interesting thoughts for Stakeholder Managers, for instance:

  • How do we look after these people?
  • How do we make use of their experiences and knowledge?
  • What are their preferred needs and wants?
  • Their preferred communication methods?

Viewing it from another angle it also raises interesting angles for Universities. Your alumni will get older and will need to be kept in the fold.

There is also this fallacy that all people want to retire and live happily ever after. In the early 80’s I managed a Mentorship Scheme for the Small Business Development Corporation where we used retired executives to do small business management consultations and act as advisors to entrepreneurs (Similar to the US SCORE program). I recall working with a retired Swiss CEO called Werner Freund. He was as sharp as ever at 72 and I learned more from him in a year than I learnt in my studies.

These are the type of people who we need to embrace and use. They can be a useful resource if you think strategically about it.

I would also recommend that you visit the Department of Social Development’s website for updated information such as this report deals with the rights of older people.