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Baby Boomers

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Baby Boomers
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March 26, 2012

Baby Boomers
After World War two there was a boom in the birth rate in the United States, this part of the population became known as the baby boomers. This sizable population is coming to the age when there are more needs for the services of the health care system. This increased need for care is becoming a major hurdle in the fight to control costs to the U.S. health care system. Many concerns arise from this growing demographic, how is this influx of people going to affect the cost of health care as well as the ability of the system to handle this increasing demographic? Other challenges that arise are how to reach this demographic and provide the services that they need. Whether these are prescription medicine programs, therapeutic services, to in home care this demographic needs to know what products and services are available so they can make sound decisions that may help the U.S. health system avoid a crisis.

Who are the Baby Boomers?
Baby boomers are the generation that was born after World War two when there was a significant rise in the U.S. population this generation is now starting to get to the age of retirement and are beginning to represent a large number of people which will need the services of the current health care system. This aging population could have a direct impact on the health care system because of the sheer number of people which are in this age group. According to Anderson, Goodman, Holtzman, Posner, & Northridge (2012) “Never before has the global population included as many older adults as it does today. Over the past century in the United States alone, the proportion of persons aged 65 years or older increased more than threefold, from 4.1% to 12.9%” (para. 1).

Effect on the Health Care Market
The impact that this large group of the aging demographic could have on the health care market could be astronomical. Organizations will have to focus more energy on attracting this growing demographic. Because such a large number of the population will soon be in this demographic more effort will be needed to provide services that will make this aging group feel comfortable that their concerns are important and that they have the information needed so they are making the right choices. More organizations will have to make sure that services are available to this aging community. because it will be through new programs to help the aging combat some of the debilitating effects of aging, or to committing more funding to the training of health care workers on how to deal with the issues of aging. According to Jones, (2011) “The health care market cannot ignore the impact that this demographic will have on health care marketing. Recognizing the power of this consumer group — as well as the far-reaching abilities of direct response — is key to health care marketers’ future success” (pg. 38).

Impact on the Health Care System
With an aging populace the burden on the countries health care system could have major impacts on the cost of health care, and the ability of the system to handle the influx of people seeking care. Not only is this demographic getting larger, they are living longer, which means that they are likely to use more resources than recent generations. According to American Hospital Association (2007) “When the last of the Boomers reach retirement age, almost 20 percent of the U.S. population will be 65 or older compared to less than 13 percent today. By 2030, there will be more than 70 million Americans over age 65 (pg. 4).

Health Care Related Challenges
The health care-related challenges that this demographic poses are the rise in health care costs associated with the increased health care needs of this demographic. This age group is the largest consumer of health care in the population, and the increased number of people reaching this age will have an effect on the cost of health care. Because there will be such a large number of the population that falls in this demographic, and that people are living much longer because of medical advances there probably will be an increase of in-home care needed. With the combination of a large increase of aging people coupled with people living longer there will need to be alternative ways of taking care of this population, such as increased numbers of long care facilities, and in-home care to meet this demand.

Effects of a Chronic Disease Wellness Program
The effects of a chronic disease wellness program on this demographic could have a huge impact on the cost of health care for them. According to American Hospital Association (2007) “as Boomers age, the number with multiple chronic conditions is expected to grow from almost 8.6 million today (about one of every 10 Boomers) to almost 37 million in 2030” (pg. 5) with this large number of people suffering chronic diseases, a chronic disease wellness program can help control the costs for these problems as well as help the sufferers maintain a better quality of life.

Marketing Needs and Services
With this large increase of this sector of the population marketing will have to put a large focus on this demographic. The services for this population will need to be increased so marketing to this population cannot be overlooked. Marketing to this demographic will also have to be reworked because this generation is much more educated and technologically advanced than its predecessors so new marketing schemes will have to be worked out to appeal to them.

Conclusion
The Baby Boomer generation will be the largest increase of potential patients to the health care system that this country has ever faced. This increase in need for medical services could have a major impact on the cost of health care. There will also be a need for more facilities, training, and personnel to fulfill these needs. This demographic will represent a large percentage of the United States population and marketing to this population will need to facilitate the needs of this population. The U.S. health care system needs to take the impact of this influx of people into the system and make changes to accommodate the needs of this demographic.

References
American Hospital Association. (2007, May). When I’m 64 How Boomer Will Change Health Care. Retrieved from http://www.aha.org
Anderson, L. A., Goodman, R. A., Holtzman, D., Posner, S. F., & Northridge, M. E. (2012). Aging in the United States: Opportunities and Challenges for Public Health. American Journal Of Public Health, 102(3), 393-395. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300617
Jones, J. (2011). Just What (the) DR Ordered: A Healthy Approach to Baby Boomers. Response, 19(5), 32-38. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?sid=273f99b4-00ea-477e-b019-1df1e5ea32ea%40sessionmgr104&vid=3&hid=109&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=bth&AN=58149049

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