5 Healthcare Challenges the Baby Boomer Generation is Facing
- Access To Services
- Mental Health Issues
- Living Longer Leads To More Health Problems
- Elder Abuse
- Lack Of Activity
The healthcare crises facing the Baby Boomer population are staggering. This is a problem that is compounded by a rapidly aging population and healthcare providers struggling to keep up. There will be significant job opportunities for students desiring to enter the healthcare industry, particularly the field of geriatrics. Understanding just a few of the healthcare crises Baby Boomers face is important for every member of society.
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1. Access To Services
Perhaps the biggest issue looming on the horizon for Baby Boomers is a lack of healthcare professionals to see to their ever-increasing healthcare needs. There is a particular lack of healthcare professionals specializing in geriatrics but also not enough healthcare providers, in general, to adequately see to the needs of a large, aging generation. Physical access to services may also be difficult as Baby Boomers become increasingly unable to drive or leave their homes. This should be viewed by younger people as an opportunity to enjoy a successful career in the healthcare field. Helping seniors who need it can be an incredibly rewarding line of work.
2. Mental Health Issues
Aging Baby Boomers are at significant risk of developing mental health problems. These conditions can be directly related to age such as dementia or Alzheimer’s as well as other mental health problems that could be brought on by the circumstances of advanced age. Older individuals are more likely to become socially isolated as they become less mobile and begin losing their friends and family members. This problem is compounded by family dispersal due to jobs or preference. Social isolation and feeling pushed out of society can lead to mental health conditions such as severe depression. It is critical for any Baby Boomer to take their mental health seriously and seek help if they are experiencing any of these conditions.
3. Living Longer Leads To More Health Problems
As medical science continues to advance, human beings are living longer. When people live longer, though, they tend to experience more problems. Many conditions become more prevalent as a person ages, including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, dementia, and diabetes. These problems can significantly decrease quality of life as people increasingly live into their nineties and above. Physical injuries also become more likely as the body ages, particularly due to falls. Baby Boomers need to be prepared to deal with these problems, take care of themselves and be monitored regularly by their healthcare providers.
4. Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is another healthcare crisis facing the Baby Boomer population. Older individuals are more susceptible to abuse and victims may not be able to speak out and seek help due to their physical or mental condition. According to The Hill, physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse, in addition to neglect (both by others and by the self), exploitation and abandonment are all forms elder abuse can take. Anyone who experiences or witnesses it should report the occurrence.
5. Lack Of Activity
A final healthcare crisis facing seniors is decreased activity levels. One of the best ways to combat the effects of aging is to exercise in order to maintain range of movement, heart health, and a healthy weight. Unfortunately, it is difficult for seniors to get enough exercise once they start experiencing pain and fatigue while moving. Even as their mobility lessens, it will be important for the Baby Boomer generation to find ways to keep moving. Physical activity works as a preventative to slow physical decline.
The Baby Boomer generation and the healthcare system that provides for them are both facing significant challenges not experienced by society before. The problems can be mitigated by additional healthcare professionals and Baby Boomers taking good care of themselves as they age. The healthcare crises facing the Baby Boomer population are not to be underestimated but they can be overcome.