The Baby Boomers, of which I am a member, have been analyzed and documented and marketed to relentlessly since the first wave of World War II U.S. servicemen's offspring made its appearance in 1946. We've been described as everything from independent and free-spirited to self-indulgent, willful, entitled, and rebellious.
Each momentous event in Boomers' lives has generated fanfare. From Woodstock and Watergate to Wall Street's highs and lows, Boomers have been key players by sheer force of their numbers, heavily influencing social and cultural trends and economic and political policy. And so it should come as no surprise that the Boomers' latest milestone-having officially entered the ranks of senior citizenry as of January 1-should inspire yet another round of fevered media coverage.
The long-term care industry has been bracing for this “silver tsunami” for years. This year 7,000 Boomers a day will turn 65, for a total of 2.5 million over the course of 2011, according to AARP. Medicare and the healthcare system will be sorely challenged to accommodate and serve this burgeoning wave. And industry observers berate Boomers for not having prepared adequately for retirement and long-term care needs and forecast a doom-and-gloom legacy of economic and social hardship for their children. On the positive side, opportunities abound for savvy businesspeople: Forward-thinking LTC marketers are creating campaigns that appeal to Boomers' alleged sense of entitlement and youthful spirit (i.e., a denial of the aging process), emphasizing facilities, programs, and activities that cater to their independent will and give-it-to-me-now attitude.
It's going to be a rollercoaster ride for the next two decades. Fasten your seatbelts.
Long-Term Living 2011 February;60(2):6