May is “Older Americans Month”
However, the group known as the Baby Boomer generation is handling health issues and feeling younger than ever. Why? They are living longer and leading more active lifestyles than previous generations.
Thanks to medical advancements and increased prevention know-how, baby boomers are movin’ and groovin’!. According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, “This year’s theme ‘Never Too Old to Play’ encourages aging Americans to stay engaged, active and involved in their own lives and in their communities.” Aging no longer means inactive or dependent.
What is a Baby Boomer?
Anyone born between 1946 through 1964 is considered a baby boomer. These individuals range between the ages of 48 to 66 years old, and they make up about one-fourth of the American population.
How did they get their nickname?
When soldiers returned after World War II, there was a “boom” of births in the U.S. and Canada. Approximately 76 million babies were born. The largest number of births recorded was in 1957: a record-breaking 4.3 million.
Living as a Baby Boomer
Baby boomers have grown up listening to the stories of the generation before them. Parents of baby boomers lived during the Great Depression and instilled deep family values and rich traditions. Many baby boomer seniors are overachievers and quite possibly “workaholics,” making community, financial and political contributions to society. They know discipline, the benefit of hard work, and loyalty.
Today’s aging population is a caregiving group, often out of necessity. Many are considered “in-betweeners” – raising children at home and caring for aging parents and other family seniors.
Health Issues for Baby Boomers
Even with advances in medicine, our aging population is concerned about health care issues and the affordability of treatment during an uncertain economy.
- Added medical issues as they age.
- Little to no health care coverage – Many families are considered “underinsured” if their plan does not cover the needed treatment.
- Increasing medical costs – Health care is on the rise; and many American seniors are unable to keep up with the cost of needed treatments.
- Medical debt – The high cost of treatment can be devastating to fixed incomes.
What’s more, aging baby boomers have strained U.S. health care, causing many governmental agencies to wonder how to provide for future generations. There are millions of baby boomers in the U.S., many of whom have retired or plan to retire in the near future. The Administration on Aging predicts “that by 2030 America’s senior population will number 71.5 million.” By 2050, there will be more than two billion people (60 or older) worldwide.
Staying Mentally, Physically and Socially Active
Some say it’s all about attitude and the aging populations truly believe “50 is the new 40” and “60 is the new 50.” Many are staying mentally active by continuing on in the workforce or challenging themselves with new interests and hobbies. They are traveling, exploring new sights, sounds, tastes, and adventures.
The international health community has been focusing its efforts to treat what is considered “age-related health challenges” such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Of course, prevention is key in prolonging a healthy body and mind, no matter what age you are.
Seniors are staying involved with the loved ones and in their communities. Many keep close relationships, maintaining healthy relationships, laughter, and making memories.
Travel and Retirement for the Baby Boomer Generation
The world is your oyster if you are a baby boomer. Typically, you have the means and the interest to see the world. Traveling is easier than ever with flights heading in almost every corner of the globe.
Options to retire abroad are more appealing than ever, and many baby boomer seniors have planted roots beyond their borders. Why? They get more bang for their buck with warm weather, lower cost of living, and affordable, professional health care. For many, it’s the perfect answer to high medical costs.
International relocation and medical tourism are plentiful. Expatriate support groups are available for an easy transition.