In the past twenty years the life expectancy of the average Egyptian has risen to age 71 from age 58. According to the Information Decision Support Center report on the elderly published in December 2008, in 1986 five percent of the population in Egypt was 60 and older. In 2015, 11% of the population was 60 and older and in 2050 there will be 24 million people over the age of 60 in Egypt. This will create a greater demand for services for the elderly such as health insurance, pensions, hospitals, housing and many others.
According to the United Nations Institute of Aging, "There is a massive challenge for both the public and private sectors which will have to provide everything from wheelchair ramps to affordable Health Care Plans."
One of the most pressing issues facing the elderly is housing. Fifty years ago, when households included large extended families, grandparents, parents, grandchildren and other relatives lived together in one house. Today fewer Egyptians are opting to live with their parents after marriage.
Dr. Mahoud Shehata, Vice President of The Egyptian Association of Aging, says many seniors want to stay with their families, but do not have that option. They quote the phrase “ma belyad heela” (my hands are tied).
In terms of senior citizen housing (nursing homes) in Egypt, there are approximately 140 operating units under licenses from the Ministry of Social Solidarity (2009). They are mostly based in Cairo and Alexandria and they serve 4,000 of Egypt’s 4.4 million elderly or less than 1%.