About Us

The Polish Institute of Silver Economy brings together stakeholders of the silver services branch, operators of facilities for older people, investors, representatives of governmental and local authorities, of social research centers and organisations of older people supporting these initiatives. The Institute diagnoses the current resources in terms of systems and services dedicated to older people and prepares solutions, which will activate a new branch in the economy. The Polish Institute of Silver Economy prepares necessary systemic solutions, recommendations of changes of legal acts and indicates sources of financing as well for investors and service providers as for older people as such.

Mission

Our mission is to create appropriate conditions, so that the silver economy becomes a driver of innovation. Innovation in the silver economy is an opportunity for older people and for service providers, entrepreneurs and also for governmental bodies, because the silver economy is based on the needs and financing abilities of older people. And they are rising. Satisfying needs of a society, where people aged 65+ represent an always wider part, represents an opportunity to develop services, products, a better care, a longer stay in better health and a better use of the potential and experience of older people.

By 2035, forecasts by the Central Statistical Office (Główny Urząd Statystyczny) foresee an increase in the number of seniors up to 25% of the population, which means that every fourth person in Poland will be outside what is considered as working age.

At the end of 2010, the number of people not of working age was 6.44 million. The Central Statistical Office predicts that this figure will reach 9.62 million in 2035. (i.e. an increase of 49%), and the biggest increase will be observed between the years 2015 and 2020 (1.0 million people). However, it has to be stressed out that the Central Statistical Office‘s forecast does not take into account the new retirement age for women and men. Therefore, the increase in the number of people not of working age will be slightly delayed in time. The structure of people of working age will also change along the changing structure of the Polish population. By 2035, compared with 2010, the share of people in the age ranges of 60/65-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85-89 and 90+ will increase and the highest growth rate will be observed among people who are aged 90+ (approx. 2.5-times increase) and 85-89 (2-times increase). The number of people aged 75+ will be approx. 4.5 million in 2035 (in 2010 this figure was 2.4 million).
When characterising the structure of the baby boom of the 50s, which will form a major part of older people in 2015-2030, it should be noted that a group of people aged 65+ bigger than ever until now will have a higher education, their own apartment (assets),  higher average incomes per household (mostly pension benefits) and due to the conditions of work and functioning in society will have access to the internet and thus will have a computer, will be more aware of the need to maintain a certain level social activity and due to these factors will also live longer and will be less in need of full time care.
These are positive points, which will influence the stimulating role of the silver economy in the development of innovation: the use of the experience of older people in creating entrepreneurship and the extension of the period of work before retirement will increase its consumer base with greater financial capacity than previous generations, and will also lead to a greater economic growth and will increase the employment opportunities for young people.
This does not mean that the statistical phenomenon presented by the Central Statistical Office in 2011 and relating to an analysis of poverty of the society, including households, whose main source of income are pensions, will disappear. Increasing living expenses (taxes, spending on housing, health expenditures) will cause that the level of poverty will not be reduced, quite on the contrary, it will grow. This will also result from lower and lower fertility rate, and given the number of one-person households aged over 65 years (almost 50%), living expenditures for such families will represent an extreme burden for their budget.
In this situation, in contrast to the agreed approach that treats aging as a problem, we have to assume that it represents an open system of big opportunities and challenges for all. These opportunities and challenges are before all:
  • Education of the elderly, known in Poland through the Universities of the Third Age;
  • Experimental goods and services: a greater demand for various forms of recreation, leisure, travel and tourism;
  • Healthcare services and wellness: the elderly long-term care and pharmaceuticals, as well as holistic and complementary health services, widely using information technology, electronic information management about the patient and of his/her diagnoses, wellness and tools for individual use, mobile and stationary health services;
  • Long-term financing: financial products and services taking into account the prolongation of life expectancy, such as reverse mortgage, health insurance and biometric banks;
  • Products of consumption taking into account age: increasing demand for product design adapted to changes in the physical condition of the elderly.

In order to achieve stimulation of innovation, the Polish Institute of Silver Economy intends to unlock the potential of growth of the silver economy by promoting activities in favour of the silver economy and developing in this area a cooperation between stakeholders: governmental and local authorities, entrepreneurs, social research centers and organisations of older people.

Care services

When planning the development of care services, it should be taken into account that currently more than 80% of care services for older dependent people in Poland are provided by members of the immediate family. Considering the growing population of older people, and the upcoming entry in the senior age of the middle-aged generation, which is meeting now the obligation to care for the older dependent people, the care potential will definitely be shrinking.

Access to specialised, daily and round the clock services will have to be increased.

In Poland, aging at the place of residence is the dominant form because of our family values. In this context, the Polish Institute of Silver Economy will promote the development of care services provided at home, while assuming an increase of the range of provided services, as well as the use of modern medical techniques.

Due to the fact that, while there is a significant migration among younger generations, the aging at the place of residence will cause an increase in loneliness of the elderly, the Polish Institute of Silver Economy will promote, support and take initiatives that will integrate older people in the neighborhood.

A wide range of care services, ranging from services in the framework of home visits to daycare, can be a good solution if one takes into account that the senior lives close to family, friends and familiar neighbors, has easy access to transportation, lives in a safe neighborhood and his/her apartment can be adapted to changing needs (due to age and severity of disability), while keeping the house clean is adequate to the possibilities of the senior. And most importantly – it would be good, if the surrounding area, neighborhood, house were covered by a health care system using modern means of communication. All these elements show the need for innovative solutions, products and services.

Long-term care, despite the declared reluctance to have older people in care facilities, should be based on the professionalism of the staff, its preparation and on the range of services provided. The introduction of standardisation, of a system of audit of services and of an evaluation of the effectiveness of treatments will be priorities of the Polish Institute of Silver Economy.

Senior housing

Knowing, on the basis of foreign experience, that the costs of living of an older person in a house adapted to the constraints of age (what actually means to adapt it to the needs of a disabled person) are up to 8 times lower than the costs of living of an older person in a nursing home, the Polish Institute of Silver Economy will take actions to find systemic solutions for issues linked to the adaptation of houses to the needs of the senior and further evolutions due to his/her evolving disability.

The program of housing adaptation requires a combination of efforts by legislators, architects, urban authorities, owners of residential properties, but also the residents themselves. The Polish Institute of Silver Economy will undertake initiatives in order to make the realisation of such a program possible, whether at local or national scale, with particular emphasis on the application of technical solutions for people with physical disabilities and on the use of modern solutions reducing energy consumption. Seniors are the largest group at risk of energy exclusion, i.e. persons whose costs for heating of living spaces accounts for less than 10% of their budget.

Increasing the housing stock of housing especially built for seniors and meeting the requirements of housing, including energy savings, offering greater security and facilities for seniors, increasing their independence, health and well-being, located in a good location is one of the characteristics of the evaluation of investment projects that are of interest for the Polish Institute of Silver Economy. This approach allows to increase the availability of such housing, including through the use of the possibility of a “release” of the economic value of the real estate owned by the senior and leaving housing facilities not meeting the needs and expectations of older people.

Projects foreseeing the construction or adaptation and renovation of nursing and care facilities should meet defined criteria resulting from the guidelines of the Minister of Health and stick to the mission of these establishments: “help to the chronically sick person to recover abilities to mobility and independency to the greatest possible extent and improve his/her quality of life”. Providing round the clock health care services, including nursing, care and rehabilitation of persons, who do not require hospitalisation and to ensure them the continuation of pharmacological treatment, proper residence conditions in these facilities and boarding conditions determine the location, the type of property and the conditions of its functioning. Launching such public or private projects is a priority of the Polish Institute of Silver Economy.

The modernity of nursing and care facilities contributes to the improvement of the quality of life of patients in long-term care. The conditions of their creation, adaptation, modernisation and the possibility to provide care services are at the basis of any investments in these facilities, but also of their direction by the operators. The realisation of such projects, also in a public-private partnership, is essential, so that the level of care is adapted to the new conditions of treatment and residence of patients. The Polish Institute of Silver Economy will try to show the best practices from Poland and abroad to help to increase the availability of these facilities.

Financing of the silver economy

The Polish Institute of Silver Economy undertakes initiatives to increase the availability of various financing instruments: debt and equity instruments. Funding can be done through development loans, loans for investments in nursing homes for older people, models of release” of the economic value of the real estate belonging to older people, the creation of special purpose vehicles, the setting up of closed-end investment funds of private assets. An individual approach to every project ensures that the requirements of the financing institution will be adequately met.