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Alert1 Hosts Aging in Place World Cup

Alert1 medical alert systems has World Cup fever. To celebrate the World Cup semifinals, Alert1 decided to host a World Cup of our own. This tournament is not based on soccer skills, but rather how well a country supports its seniors with aging in place. In the interest of good sportsmanship, we’re going to preserve the same match ups as the ones in this year’s World Cup. Now, stayed tuned, as we are going to show you some really surprising results!

Semifinal Match #1: Brazil vs. Germany

Brazil vs Germany. alert1 medical alert systems

In the FIFA™ World Cup semifinal, we expected a close match between Brazil and Germany. However, this semifinal blew our minds with a one-sided 7-1 win­­­ for Germany. Similarly, for aging in place, we expected Germany to sweep Brazil under the rug, 5-0. This is because we expect developed countries to have more senior care infrastructure (like Germany) when compared to developing nations (like Brazil).

One of the major criteria we used to see if seniors aged in place well is overall life expectancy. As expected, Germany beats Brazil. In fact, Germany’s life expectancy is almost five years longer than Brazil’s! 80 vs. 75. The score is 1-0 Germany.

Alert1 also wanted to compare the accessibility of senior healthcare. We compared the number of physicians per 10,000 people in the two countries. With 34 for Germany versus 12 for Brazil, it’s no wonder that Germany scored two goals here. Score: 3-0 for Germany.

We also looked at the organizations for senior access to caregivers. This is important because if there is a shortage of caregivers, seniors are less likely to age in place because they will more likely live in elderly institutions. This number is called the elderly dependency ratio; the ratio between the number of elderly to the number of working age people in a country. The smaller the ratio, the better, as this would mean that seniors in that country would have easier access to caregivers. As expected again, Brazil beats Germany here. Germany has a ratio of 32.1% versus Brazil’s youthful 11%. The score’s now 3-1 Brazil.

To evaluate how well elders could afford aging in place, we compared the elderly poverty levels in each of the respective countries. The German elderly poverty rate is two thirds of its nationwide rate. Surprisingly, the Brazilian elderly poverty rate is only a fifth of its nationwide rate. Thus, Brazil scores a point here. Score: 3-2 Brazil. However, as the cutoff is based on the median income, Brazil’s lower median income may contribute to a lower elderly poverty rate.

In the aging in place match between Germany and Brazil, Germany won big in the beginning but Brazil came back. Germany won on both life expectancy and the number of physicians. Brazil later on won the elder dependency ratio and the elderly poverty levels. Ultimately, Germany wins with a 3-2 score, which is a much closer match than the predicted 5-0 and even better than the FIFA’s lopsided 7-1.

Semifinal Match #2: Netherlands vs. Argentina

In the match between the Netherlands and Argentina, we expect a close call. The magic of Lionel Messi was still alive and well, but Di Maria’s injury has evened out Argentina’s advantage over the Netherlands. However, for aging in place, we expect that the Netherlands would sweep Argentina.

Lionel Messi. alert1 medical alert systemsIn terms of life expectancy, the two nations are close. The life expectancy of the Netherlands is only three years longer than Argentina’s. The Netherland’s is 79 years 8 months, while Argentina’s is 76 years 11 months. Score: 1-0 Netherlands.

For access to care in general, the results are as expected. We first measured the ability to access caregivers. Argentina is a developing, more youthful country, Argentina’s elder dependency ratio is 16.9%. The Netherland’s is 25.8%. That means the Netherlands has a little less than four working age people to every elder and has fewer caregivers to offer. The game is now tied at 1-1. As for healthcare with physicians, the results are quite surprising. Argentina has 30 doctors per 10,000 people, which is more than the US. The Netherlands has 37. Here, the results are so close that neither team scored a goal. The score is still 1-1.

And as expected, Argentina’s elders are less likely to be able support themselves financially. Compared to any citizen from the Netherlands, Dutch elders are 87% less likely to live in poverty. For Argentina, elders are 54% less likely to live below the poverty line. Thus, the Netherlands scores a goal here. Now the score is 2-1 for the Netherlands.

The Netherlands ultimately wins this match over Argentina. However, the match is much closer than thought, as the final score is 2-1. This is because the two were almost evenly matched until the elderly poverty levels.

Group H Final Match: South Korea vs. Belgium

Given Belgium’s world rank of number 11 and South Korea’s rank of 57, we expected a comfortable win by Belgium in the FIFA World Cup. In reality, Belgium did win 1-0. However, for the Aging in Place World Cup, we expect a very close match between the two, as both are developed countries. We expect a 2-1 Belgium victory.

belgium national team. alert1 medical alert systems









For life expectancy, Belgium takes the win. Belgium’s life expectancy is longer by half a year, 75.91 years vs. 79.05 for Korea. Score: 1-0 Belgium.

Next is the availability of senior care. First up is the availability of caregivers in general. For elderly dependency ratios, South Korea wins. South Korea is younger than expected and has a rather low elderly dependency ratio of 16.7%. Belgium’s is similar to many other western European countries: 27.7%. The score is now 1-1. The game is tied.

However, for access to healthcare with physicians, Belgium beats South Korea by far. Belgium has 42 doctors for every 10,000 people, while South Korea only has 16. That means Belgium has almost three times as many doctors that people can go to for help. The score is 3-1 Belgium.

Surprisingly, there was a huge difference between the two nations on a financial independence basis. This is measured through the elderly poverty levels. South Korea’s elderly poverty levels are three times its nationwide rate, while Belgium’s is only 72%. Obviously, Belgium wins by far, with the Belgium’s likelihood of elders being below the poverty line less than a fourth of South Korea’s. The score is 5-1 Belgium.

Contrary to our aging in place expectations, Belgium swept South Korea under the rug even more than it did in the FIFA World Cup. The Aging in Place score of 5-1 is much more of a landslide than the FIFA match’s 1-0. In the aging in place arena, South Korea does win the elderly dependency ratio, but even loses in life expectancy. Belgium also won by a landslide in the number of physicians and elderly poverty levels. 

Group G Match #4: US vs. Portugal


Cristiano Ronaldo. alert1 medical alert systems












The USMNT tied with the Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal side. Portugal and the US still seem to be veering for another close match of in the aging in place arena. However, we expected Portugal to eke out victory against the US with a score of 3-2. This is because both Portugal and the US are developed countries. Let’s see how they actually do.

In terms of life expectancy, the Portugal wins. The US’s life expectancy is 78.37 while Portugal’s is 79.45. The score is 1-0 Portugal.

The next angle we’re going to examine is seniors’ access to care. For availability of caregivers in general, it’s a mixed bag because both the US and Portugal are rapidly aging. However, the US is still rather youthful because of its large number of immigrants. Its elder dependency ratio is 21%. Portugal is not as youthful, with a ratio of 28.2%. Score: 1-1.The game is tied. It is also another mixed bag for access to healthcare. For the number of physicians for every 10,000 people, Portugal wins with 34 physicians per 10,000 people. The US has 26, but that is not a gigantic difference. Here, neither team scored, leaving the score at 1-1.

As expected with America’s increasingly expensive health care, the US loses on elderly poverty levels. Portugal’s elderly poverty rate is also about half of its nationwide rate. However, American seniors are 1.5 times more likely to live below the poverty line than an American citizen nationwide. Portugal scores a goal here. The score is 2-1 Portugal.

This time, Portugal barely wins 2-1 over the US, as it won three out of the four criteria. This is very similar to the results from the FIFA World Cup: a tie at 2-2. The difference here is that Portugal had and maintained a lead while in the FIFA World Cup, the US had and lost its lead.

The Aging in Place World Cup Results

In the FIFA World Cup, the heavy weights reined. But, out of the four matches in the Aging in Place World Cup, only one went the way we expected: US vs. Portugal’s. That match was very close, but Portugal won in the end with 3-2.

In the actual World Cup, home team advantage dominates. Well, up until the semifinal game with Brazil. In the Aging in Place world, developed nation status contributed to better scores but did not necessarily mean unparalleled dominance.