silver industry
n. The business sector that focuses on products and services for seniors.

Example Citations:
"As parents age, families deal with a series of complicated decisions that affect the elder as well as adult children," says Deputy, of Bristol, Ind. "Trying to agree on the best course of action brings up all sorts of family dynamics, and suddenly people are dealing with their emotions, not reason. Too often what happens next is that people begin to lose sight of the primary objective, which is the safety and dignity of the older relative."

That experience helps her in her work today as an elder-care mediator — one of the latest of what Harry Moody, director of academic affairs for AARP, calls "silver industries," services developed to respond to the special needs of an aging population.
—Korky Vann, "Mediators resolve disputes over care," Hartford Courant, August 16, 2006

Businesses are also recognizing that older Americans, with $1.6 trillion to $2.1 trillion in spending power, make up a huge market that's ripe for picking.

Industries that have focused on younger consumers are retooling themselves to create, produce and market goods and services to that older demographic group.

Those new "silver industries" range from housing and cosmetics to travel and entertainment, said Greg O'Neill, director of the National Academy on an Aging Society.
—Bob Moos, "Gerontologists are in demand as older population grows," The Dallas Morning News, November 18, 2006

Earliest Citation:
The massive demand of the gray sector will constitute an important factor in boosting economic growth, the firm forecast. It thus predicted an outstanding growth of the 'silver' industry, which caters to the tastes and needs of the elderly.
—"Consumption by elderly seen topping 100 trilion yen in 2000," Japan Economic Newswire, September 30, 1988

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