Starting this year the Baby Boomer generation—those born between 1946 and 1964 totaling 78 million babies—will start turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day!
I foresee many changes in senior care with this tsunami of retiring citizens.
Baby Boomers are a much different senior than those of the previous generations. Our technology is advanced and continues to change daily. Our parents worked hard to give us more then they had and therefore our expectations are grander then they ever dreamed. We expect to age better – and longer. Our diets are, for the most part, improved. We cook with wine and sometimes even put it in the food. We jog, run, bike and hike for fun, not necessity. We seek alternative treatments and medicines for what ails us. We worry more about the environment and the atmosphere and what we’re leaving behind us. Some of us recycle dilligently. Some have even been accused of hugging trees. Our relationships, politics and viewpoints are different because of the experiences that we’ve had and we think little of speaking them out loud. We still question authority – some more vigorously than others. Many of us won’t retire till well into our 70s—if even then—while others will “retire” more than once.
So my question is:
How will this effect the senior care industry?
Will assisted living communities revert to the more social model they were in their infancy? I don’t see Bingo as being a very well attended “activity” unless it’s at the Casino. Instead of watching Lawrence Welk on TV we’ll want to go see the show in person. Will the facilities/communities have to add smoking rooms so that those that utilize medical marijuana may do so without second hand smoke upsetting others? Or will we see a demize in that type of community in favor of truly staying at home until end of days? Will we see more “villages” poping up (i.e. beaconhillvillage.org in Boston) around the country where common resources are available for those that live near them. Or do we go to a communal way of life? Personally I kinda like the “Walton’s Mountain” way of family all living together taking care of each other and we’ve been seeing a lot more of that these days due to economic struggles.
Will Social Security become a thing of the past or will it be revised to provide the real security that a disabled senior needs? Will “long term care” insurance be a thing of the past or thrive as the absolute need? What of skilled nursing facilities? Where will they fit into this bigger picture?
So many questions with so few answers. If only I had a crystal ball… I could be a rich woman. What do you forsee? What do you think is in the cards for you? I would love to hear your comments, views, suggestions.