Although much is said about the millennials, it turns out everything isn’t as rosy as we thought about the boomers. Members of this generation are actually in worse health than their parent's generation, according to new studies. This generation, born after World War II, had a lower percentage of being in excellent health than the previous generation. While active, there are a few reasons why they are falling behind health-wise.
Higher Disease Rates
When it comes to aging well, chronic diseases play a large role and the baby boomer generation has a higher disease rate than their parents. The baby boomers have a higher rate of diabetes, in addition to higher rates of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. While these conditions can be managed with diet and lifestyle, they do increase a person's risk of mortality. Many of the baby boomers are finding that they are developing diseases that their parents didn't have at the same stage in life.
Although everyone loses some of their mobility as they age, the baby boomers are seeing greater losses. This generation is actually more than twice as likely as the previous generation to use a cane or walker. Having to use these aids also means that older people are less independent and more reliant on family or services to maintain their lifestyles. In some cases, this worsened mobility may even mean that more of the baby boomer generation will go to a nursing home or senior living facility instead of living independently.
Increased Elderly Needs
Along with the health and disability problems that this generation is experiencing, there is an increased demand for gerontology services. For anyone who has a passion for working with older adults, the University of Southern California Online is one school that offers a degree in this field. A USC online gerontology degree provides individuals with the skills that they need to aid older adults and help them to maintain their health as much as possible over time. USC makes it easy for working adults to earn this degree in their spare time.
Decreased Smoking Risk
Although most of the findings from the baby boomer generation studies have been disheartening in terms of overall health, there is some good news. The baby boomers are much less likely to smoke and they have a significantly lower level of smoking than their parent's generation. Since smoking increases a person's risk of cancer, emphysema, and other related problems, this is a beneficial change that may be helping them in other ways. They are also less likely to have a heart attack than their parents. Since smoking is a risk factor for heart disease, the lower rates of smoking may play a role in this reduced risk.
Although everyone is going to have some health problems as they age, it appears that the baby boomer generation has some significant problems to face. With the right services and interventions, many seniors can remain independent, which is why it's important for these adults to have the assistance they need.