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Baby Boomers Health Declining Faster than Previous Generations

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - July 2, 2013

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It is well known that the baby boomer generation are more familiar with lifestyle habits that are more dangerous, such as smoking and eating fatty foods. They are also retiring with more advanced technology to keep them healthy, not to mention are much more active than previous generations. However this hasn’t kept them from being unhealthy, and their generation’s health is declining much faster than previous generations. Many different surveys and reports have been released showing the accuracy of these assumptions and that baby boomers are experiencing a variety of adverse health conditions.

Baby Boomer’s Declining Health

In a recent study conducted by Adelaide University in Australia, baby boomers who are currently in their 60s have a fast declining health. The fact that they are more active and knowledgeable about healthy lifestyle choices, it hasn’t changed a thing. The study came up with shocking results; chronic health conditions and diseases are 700% more common in baby boomers than retirees in the previous generations. More baby boomers are suffering from obesity, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s and mild to severe medical complications.

The Cause

There is no single cause for the health decline in this upcoming generation’s seniors, but there are many different factors that might be causing it. For one thing, they are more active but obesity is still more common. In the generation prior, there was a 29% rate of obesity in seniors; for baby boomers, it is closer to 40%. Added to this the fact that they are eating out more, cooking less, and eating more processed foods, the risk of obesity is greater even if they are physically active and more independent. Another concern is that the environment is causing many of the illnesses baby boomers are getting. Unhealthy lifestyles like smoking and drinking still exist among baby boomers, even though they are aware of the consequences. Lifestyle factors lead the way to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and a number of other health conditions.

What This Means

Regardless of the reason why baby boomers health is declining so much faster than previous generations, the consequences are overwhelming. Not only does it require higher medical costs in general, but with the rising health care costs and Medicare limitations coming soon, it could be even worse for this generation of seniors. Those requiring live-in nurses or residential senior living are going to have a difficult time. The hope is that because baby boomers are more active and independent, they will be able to put off requiring nursing care and staying in their own homes longer to avoid the financial burden of needing round-the-clock care at a senior living community.

Considerations are taken daily by healthcare providers and major medical insurance plans when it comes to the declining health of baby boomers. Unfortunately, the two sides do not always meet. For example, healthcare professionals are working to increase the number of skilled staff members, home health providers and certified nursing assistants to help with the growing need. On the other hand major medical companies are seeking higher costs from consumers and policy holders for long term care as an answer to the declining health of the generation.