From Vitamins To Videogames: How Baby Boomers Are Managing Their Health Concerns
More baby boomers are surviving to old age than any generation that came before them. But that doesn’t mean that they’re any healthier. In fact, baby boomers are the fattest generation ever. And this is leading many of them to worry about their future.
Back in 1994, only around 31 percent of people between the ages of 55 and 64 were obese. That was still terrible from a health perspective, but it was a minority. However, over the next two decades, those in late midlife grew bigger. Now over 40 percent of that same age bracket are clinically obese. Studies have found that if boomers just reduced their weight by a mere 3.5 lbs, there would be massive health benefits. It’s estimated that there would be 890,000 fewer diabetics and 178,000 fewer cases of heart disease.
As a generation, baby boomers seem like a ticking time bomb. So how are they managing their health concerns?
In a bid to hold off being cared for in living facilities for as long as possible, boomers are turning to exercise. There is evidence that exercise helps people to lower blood pressure, lost weight and improve longevity. And many scientific establishments have come out and said that everybody over sixty should be doing exercise. Boomers appear to have heeded the warning and are trying to make lifestyle changes. Now it’s not uncommon to see older people down the local fitness club doing weights alongside twenty-somethings.
Baby boomers are the generation that made aging into a bad thing. And, so like it or not, there’s a focus on beating it and holding off the grim reaper. Exercise is seen as a way of delaying the physical effects of aging and providing a happier life. Studies have shown that exercise can boost longevity by a whopping 16 years over people who are sedentary.
Baby boomers grew up in the heyday of allopathic medicine. Doctors prescribing hormone replacement therapy and thalidomide could do no wrong. Over the years, there’s been an erosion of trust in mainstream medicine. But this doesn’t seem to have rubbed off on the boomers. They take medicine for everything, from erectile dysfunction to brittle eyelashes. Over the last decade, we’ve seen a 25 percent increase in the number of medications taken by those aged 55 to 64. Baby boomers are using medications to extend their lives and protect against disease. But these medications come with all sorts of side-effects, including addiction.
They Fear Dementia The Most
Baby boomers have had the first-hand experience of what it’s like to lose somebody to a progressive mental disease. And they don’t want the same fate to befall them.
As a result, they’re investing big in anything that can prevent the onset of disease. Vitamins, video games – nothing’s off the table when it comes to protecting the gray matter between their ears. Companies are now redoubling their efforts to sell boomers devices that will enable them to “age in place.” And given how many boomers will soon be in their 80s, there’s going to be a market for it.