By Parinyaporn Pajee
With Thailand’s ageing population now making up more than 10 per cent of the total population, the holding of the 4th InterCare Asia 2019, an international exhibition of medical utility technologies and innovative health care products designed for the elderly, comes an at opportune time. It’s taking place Bitec Bangna until tomorrow (July 13) and features products for and seminars about an ageing society.
Organised by NCC Exhibition Organiser (NEO), the exhibition underlines how business related to the elderly continues to grow. Currently worth some Bt107 billion, it is expected to expand by another 10 per cent this year alone. Speaking to reporters earlier this week, NEO predicted that the expo would draw more than 5,000 consumers and see cash flow of at least Bt700 million over the 3 days.
“The InterCare Asia is designed to cater to the ageing society which will grow exponentially over the next 10-20 years. Today, being old doesn’t mean being ill or having weakened health. The elderly are now fit and lead healthy lives,” says Sakchai Pathpreechagul, NEO’s managing director.
“Young people might be irritated by older members of the family Line group and sending picture of flowers with the greeting ‘Sawasdee Wan Jan’ (‘Hello Monday’) but in a way, it reflects how happy they are with life,” Sakchai adds.
The expo is divided into five zones showcasing different kinds of products and innovation in helping ageing people enjoy a better quality of life, namely homecare and medical equipment; utilities for patient and disabled people such as trolleys, gait trainers and wheelchairs; rehabilitation appliances for security and recovery plus devices for retired people, such as assistant robots, orthopaedic devices and hearing aids; services like geriatric hospitals, nursing homes, retirement housing estates; and innovative food created for older people who have difficulty swallowing and food supplements for people with different conditions like kidney disease. A newcomer this year is tourism, which includes medical tourism and special packages designed for an elderly lifestyle.
Seminar subjects cover the nursing home business and new regulations, how to travel in old age and food for the elderly.
Furthermore, the expo provides furniture and equipment along with recent innovations to make life more convenient. Advice for happy retirement is provided as well. Business matching sessions are available and representatives from the Department of Employment will be on hand to offer advice on career opportunities for the retired, Sakchai said.
Chatchai Panitchiwa, president of Business Matching for The Federation of Thai Industries, says that the Federation is supporting the InterCare Asia 2019 and sees the event as a good opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. It has also arranged for the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) to host an academic seminar on topic of diet, which will explain the best nutrition for the elderly,
Among the more interesting innovations on show are the Aerolet Toilet Lift that helps older persons to be able to stand up and sit down on the toilet smoothly and an adjustable bed for seniors developed by the NSTDA to which SB Furniture has bought the rights and will launch the product in the next two months at a much more competitive price than the current imported beds.
Niti Siprae of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, says the agency is using the expo to launch its “Thailand Premium” project to encourage tourism among the elderly at prices they can afford. “It addresses convenient and safe travel as well as special sightseeing of each province that is suitable for the lifestyles of retired people.
InterCare Asia 2019 continues until tomorrow night at Bitec Bangna, Hall 99. For more information, visit Facebook.com/IntercareAsia.