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The Future of Aging! DayOne Lab talk

The Future of Aging!

Part of the Aging Well Catlyst project

The point of view presented by Zayna Khayat, Ph.D., Future Strategist at SE Health in her book “The Future of Aging” allows rethinking aging as the starting point for innovation – across industries and institutions – to design inclusive solutions to improve the experience of aging for everyone. As part of the DayOne Catalyst project on Aging, we had the pleasure of hosting Zayna for a DayOne Lab talk, virtually on 30.06.20.

The much needed innovation in that space starts with reframing our perspective on Aging and redefining what it means to age well. At the heart of her perspective is the holistic understanding of well-being: supporting older adults in living well across all aspects of life, in their own terms.

The often paternalistic (“ageistic?) or “technology-push” approaches to innovation in aging will not work in this new context. Industries will have to account for the diversity of culture, experience, and ability that defines the aging population to be successful in designing and implementing efficient, effective and sustainable solutions. Most importantly, they will need to engage these aging adults in collaborative design when it comes to innovation.

We discussed five key aspects of the experience of aging and explored the challenges and opportunities that an individual or organization might encounter when working with older adults to build a better future:

1. Identity

Challenging the cultural norms and stereotypes that underpin ageism and other forms of discrimination and urge media and other cultural institutions to showcase a realistically diverse range of older adults. Facilitating the participation of older people in workplaces, recreational spaces, schools, and/or other private and public institutions.

2: Aging and Community

Designing new communities centered around the home where older adults are empowered to share their skills and participate in activities. This keeps older adults engaged and energized and helps them live happier, healthier lives. The future of health is home!

3: Health Interventions

Helping older adults embrace the benefits of health care interventions by making them appealing and beneficial. Combating unwelcome physical and psychological changes and negative stereotypes that come with aging by empowering older adults with the vision of what’s possible.

4: Gerontechnology

Insisting older adults be full participants in the design process will exponentially improve uptake and adoption. Devices, tools and other technological interventions need to be the ultimate in accessibility, customization and simplicity.

5. Economic Contexts

Designing financial products to be flexible enough to be applied in a variety of circumstances. All people value being recognized for what they have built, supported, or contributed to. Older people benefit from the enhanced social status or more practical outcomes that could come with this recognition.

Increased longevity presents incredible opportunities for a diverse range of industries, governments, agencies, communities and individuals. Innovation for the future of aging will include new policies, services, products, technologies, living spaces, and even approaches to shaping inter-generational communities—all of which will be transformative for the lives of older adults.

The potential societal and economic returns from innovation for the future of aging are immense, and therefore need to be prioritized.

The vision that Zayna Khayat at SE Health shared is intended to help individuals and organizations of all types and from all sectors position themselves as long-term partners on whom aging adults can depend as they navigate their experiences of aging.

Many thanks to Zayna at for joining us in this webinar!

Take the time to review the slides and recording of the webinar.  We are also looking forward to featuring more on Zayna’s perspectives in our next DayOne newsletter. Sign up here.

And of course, as we help shape the future of health, we continue to pursue the conversation on Aging Well, with the continuing Catalyst project. Join us.