In thirty-five years, the United Nations predicts there will be more people above sixty-five than kids age five and below. The US is definitely a heavy contributor in this as baby boomers (BBs) or people born from 1946 to 1964 start retiring.
City and state policies, taxes, increasing insurance fees and the emergence of several health care industries made especially for the elderly are all evidence that the health of the BBs have affected modern society in a major way.
When BBs start retiring, health care institutions will be very busy. In fifteen years, around sixty percent of BBs will have two or more health issues. Today, sixty-two percent of people who are between fifty and sixty-four years old already have an issue related to obesity like high blood pressure or heart disease. And in fifteen years, there is an estimation that twenty-five percent of BBs will have diabetes.
It’s obvious that the health of BBs will be very big thing in the following decades. Here’s a list of the top BB trends.
- They will receive more medical attention.
In fifteen years, the number of people above sixty-five will be almost thrice as much as the number of people above sixty-five thirty-five years ago. We can expect that BBs will have more medical attention as a group than those in the past.
With the advancement in global technology, BBs now have more access to healthcare and information than in the past. BBs can look for medical info on the internet. Info on the internet instantly offers a “2nd opinion” should BBs want one. New discoveries in medicine are there for BBs to read. All these permit BBs to ask the proper people on how to go about medical procedures and the like.
Those working in the healthcare industry will also find this beneficial for them and their job since they too will be learning a lot. From 1996 to 2006, checkups with doctors for those aged fifty-five to sixty-four rose by thirteen percent. As BBs retire, this trend might be hard to turn around, but a more knowledgeable population could make the difference.
Physicians are not the only people focusing more on BBs, as we move on to the next trend.
- They will be an important demographic when it comes to marketing.
In the US, people above fifty account for half of discretionary expenses. BBs are also the most employed out of all the demographics in the US. It’s not surprising that they have more money than people in other age groups, and they have more stability with their finances. This means that corporations and people who sell products and services related to medicine and healthcare have their sights set on them. BBs will discover more and more how companies value their patronage.
Because of this, there will be emphasis on the development and sale of gadgets that can aid a BBs independence as he or she grows old. When BBs hit eighty, or ninety years, the need for healthcare products will rise, as well as the production of these products. There will be more services and products made for health and mobility than ever before. BBs will be surrounded by advertisements for so many things, from medicine to games that combat dementia.
BBs will also need to know which products are good for them and which ones are not. Not all medical products are manufactured equally. Not all will fulfill what they promise. This means that there will be more demand for services to aid BBs choose products.
- The opinion of BBs will carry more weight.
For government officials seeking votes from their constituents, or scientists who are aiming to immortalize themselves via breakthroughs, BBs are the most important demographic. There are over a hundred million US citizens above fifty years old. That’s a lot of votes and dollars right there.
Even though most of those in the US want to trim the budget deficit, few government officials will go for saving money by reducing Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. To do so may be understood when you read about it on a piece of paper, but it’ll be a lot harder to understand when faced by an entire community of hundreds or maybe even thousands of angry BBs. More senior US citizens want to be more in the thick of things politically, and this has a big impact when going after a voting bloc. And this especially holds true when those in the government themselves are part of the BB generation.
- They will be needing the energy.
BBs have an idea on how to get their bodies fired up. In 2008, sixty-one percent of those in the age range of forty to fifty-nine consumed coffee on a daily basis, compared to the forty-seven percent of those in the age range of twenty-five to thirty-nine according to the National Coffee Association. But in 2010, almost seventy-five percent of people above sixty who were interviewed, consumed coffee in the past day.
Research reveals that coffee and all the antioxidants it contains can help people who are aging. Coffee can combat Alzheimer’s and other disease related to growing old. Thus the basis of much of its appeal to BBs. Truth be told though, coffee needs very little advertising since it’s well loved.
In a similar research, coffee, whether caffeinated or not, was shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the prostate. Many people believe that the advantages of drinking coffee do not come from caffeine, but rather from caffeic and chlorogenic acids. But of course, those who consume too much coffee are prone to high BP and crashes when the body comes down from a caffeinated high.
More and more BBs are also purchasing energy drinks and pills, which as of today, have unknown long-term effects.
- They will live longer.
In 2011, the first of the BBs reached sixty-five years. Although it can be expected that they would reach eighty-three.
The BBs in the US can expect to have longer lifespans, more than generations before them. It can also be expected that BBs will stay independent while residing in their own houses longer. This may have many effects on society.
Home healthcare will thrive and just like in the previous numbers in this article, corporations and companies will be competing to fill the need for this. BBs may also require themselves to spend less in order to preserve the money they saved before retiring. They may turn more and more to different financial arrangements like a reverse mortgage for additional money. Because so many BBs will be claiming their Social Security benefits, SS will pay more than it receives. This may happen as soon as 2017. This will surely be debated and argued on in the coming decades.
- They weill need more meds prescribed by doctors.
If you’re afraid of injections, you would probably always want your meds in pills. And nowadays, that’s very possible.
Medicine prescribed by doctors are readily available for any illness. You name it, they have it. Medicine for pain, high blood pressure or cholesterol, infections, or any other illness has a corresponding pill.
From 1996 to 2006, a twenty-five percent rise in people from fifty-five to sixty-four was recorded as receiving six or more prescribed meds from a check-up. Prescribed meds are the most-abused of the controlled substances and this is born out of heavy usage which leads to dependence, which in turn leads to abuse.
A research discovered that eighty-three percent of people living in nursing homes used antipsychotics. This means that a lot of them may be overmedicating.
- They will lead a more active lifestyle.
When you try to lose body fat, lower BP or strengthen yourself, nothing beats consistent training, as science has long observed. BBs take this to heart. In fact, over the past decades, they have helped a number of fads become more popular and accepted.
Staying fit and training is more prevalent in the lives of BBs, a lot more than they are in the lives of past generations.
As more BBs retire, there comes this collective drive to turn back the clock and delay the effects of growing old on the body. This is why physical training is valued by BBs. Through working out, they get to live longer.
A research revealed that people who lived an active lifestyle have sixteen more years of life compared to people who lived a sedentary lifestyle. Training plays a big part in delaying dementia. It also helps the functionality of the joints.
But because some BBs overdo their training, they find themselves in hospitals and sports clinics. Their bodies have difficulty fulfilling what their training requires. This is the negative side of living actively.
But for people who do it safely, who know their limits, physical training is one of the best ways to stay young and invigorated.
- They are not as healthy as those who came before them.
When you compare BBs to past generations you’d see that BBs lived in a much less agrarian world. They experienced the onset of suburban neighborhoods. Farms and factories were either remnants the past or they belonged in rural and backwater areas. BBs usually had office-based jobs and seldom experienced physically demanding or dangerous work that exhausted them for the day. These were the kinds of jobs their predecessors had.
Also, a study that compared BBs to their predecessors, discovered that those who are fifty to sixty-four require more help with self-care activities because of illnesses. A separate research saw that those sixty to sixty-nine were a lot less healthier.
Although results might not be as accurate as perceived since technology provides more efficient sickness detection. BBs might actually be healthier than we thought.
- They will be more conscious about what they eat.
BBs have now looked closer at the food they eat. They have become more cautious with their diet. They read the labels. They look at the ingredients. They evaluate the nutritional content.
This is the right move on the part of the BBs because a lot of what’s available in supermarkets, groceries, restaurants, convenience stores and food stalls isn’t good for you.
A survey showed that eighty percent of BBs pay more attention to the nutritional content of food. They have a better grasp of where the food comes from, better than they did in 1980. The survey also revealed that more people in the US, including the BBs, buy organic products today than in previous years.
This is partly because there have been numerous reports of food being bombarded with additives, and other chemicals that can be very harmful to the body. This is of course related to how we treat our environment.
- They will have to cope with obesity.
It’s true that BBs live longer than their predecessors. But it’s also true that as a whole, they are infamous for having a higher percentage of obese people for their age bracket than all the other generations that came before them. Around twenty years ago, thirty-one percent of people between fifty-five and sixty-four were obese. In 2002, the number rose to thirty-nine percent.
Obesity strikes BBs more than their predecessors, and it strikes them at an earlier part of their lives. For example, obesity is most likely to strike women when they reach their fifties.
BBs need to trim their weight down. A lot of them already have illnesses born out of obesity, like diabetes and high BPs. A study conducted recently shows that if everyone in the US lost 3.74 lbs on an average, there would almost 180,000 less cases of heart disease and almost 900,000 less cases of diabetes.
One research discovered that those with obesity in the age range of sixty and seventy-four were a lot less likely to suffer depression. Being obese and having problems with your joints function isn’t a happy combination. The heavier a person is, the more stress placed on the knees. This will sooner or later make walking a painful experience.
Luckily, a lot of programs are in the market to help BBs lose weight and avoid obesity. Most of these programs stress the importance of dieting combined with physical exercise. That’s a good plan for everyone, no matter your generation.