As the Korean population rapidly ages, government agencies and corporations alike are looking for ways to ease the social burdens that comes with it. Household products maker Yuhan-Kimberly is among the leading companies that have been actively promoting programs aimed at improving the lives of seniors.
“Yuhan-Kimberly views the issue of aging as an opportunity rather than a crisis, and has been pursuing Creating Shared Value management since 2012 to create opportunities for senior business,” said a spokesman for Yuhan-Kimberly.
According to the report “An Aging World: 2015” released by the US Census Bureau in March this year, Korea is the fastest-aging population in the world and is expected to be the second-oldest society in the world in 2050 with 35.9 percent of its population over 65 years old.
Since 2012, the company has partnered with the Work Together Foundation to provide business consulting for small and social enterprises that develop products and services for senior citizens. Companies that have received support through this program have developed products such as hearing aids, specialized insoles and health products.
The goal is not only to create products for the largely undervalued senior citizens‘ market, but also to help create quality jobs for senior citizens.
Participants in the Senior Care Manager program take a class on cognitive function therapy. (Yuhan-Kimberly)
According to Statistics Korea, there were nearly 1.5 million senior citizens working irregular jobs, which do not receive typical employment protections -- a huge jump from the 611,000 irregular senior workers in August 2006.
According to the report “Society at a Glance 2016” from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, nearly half of Korean seniors live under the poverty line, compared to the OECD average of 13 percent.
To provide support for seniors who are living in elderly homes, Yuhan-Kimberly began the “Senior Care Manager” program in October. This program includes psychological therapy and activities to improve cognitive function, while helping retired elderly care specialists to find jobs at other institutions.
Following the ultimate goal of vitalizing the market for senior citizens, Yuhan-Kimberly teamed up with the Korea Labor Force Development Institute for the Aged and Koreans aged 50 and over, to create Time Bridge, an offline store selling products for all generations, creating jobs for the elderly and profits to be donated to projects related to senior citizens.
By Won Ho-jung (email@example.com