In our last blog post we reviewed the statistics and identified an incredible aging trend over the next couple of decades. Today we want to take a closer look at the two main factors influencing that trend.
The baby boomers are getting older
We are living longer
Let's take a closer look at the implications of each.
The baby boomers
Following World War II a significant number of soldiers returned home ready to start a family. This resulted in a huge increase in the birth rate from 1946 to 1964. This spike in the birth rate created the generation known as the "baby boomers".
The baby boomers are now between the ages of 52 and 70 years old. By 2030 the entire generation of baby boomers will be over 65 years old. By reviewing the statistics presented in the previous blog it is easy to see how the aging baby boomer population is influencing the overall aging trend in the United States.
In most developed countries the life expectancy of their citizens has been improving for several decades. In the United States in 1972, life expectancy from the age of 65 was 15.2 years, by 2010 the life expectancy had increased to 19.1 years. A similar trend has been noted for those turning 85, their life expectancy in 1972 was 5.5 years. By 2010 that life expectancy had increased to 6.5 years.
Implications for Health Care Professionals
There is no doubt that the aging population is going to face significant challenges. It is great news that people are living longer today. But the question will be how much longer can people be expected to live in good health? What type of care are they going to need and will they have the resources to afford it?
The demand for caregiver jobs is going to continue to increase as the population ages. The baby boomers as a whole were the wealthiest generation up to that time in history. They are used to being independent and are generally going to have a negative attitude when it comes to assisted living. As the life expectancy increases the baby boomers will see many of the healthcare challenges first hand. Most of them will be living longer with chronic illnesses. Caregivers and the job that they do are going to play a huge part in providing the independence that baby boomers would prefer as they age.