6 Surprising Health Challenges Facing Baby Boomers
As Baby Boomers settle into their retirement years, the health challenges will continue to come. No matter what one imagines the state of the healthcare system to be in, the simple fact is that nothing has prepared Baby Boomers and healthcare professionals for the challenges that will soon become overwhelming for everyone involved. The following are a few surprising health challenges that this aging population will have to face.
Medical Professional Deficiencies
With such a huge segment of the population heading into full retirement, this leaves the healthcare profession without the available man power to care for the vast numbers of elderly people needing the services of healthcare professionals. It is inevitable that deficiencies in the medical workforce will translate to deficiencies in the level, availability and quality of healthcare itself.
The Baby Boomer generation lives in a time when Obesity is a major epidemic. It is a situation where dietary advice from medical professionals, over the last few decades, has been poor quality at best. Today, doctors are scrambling to correct this error in judgment, but the damage is already done. Many elderly are also too set in their ways to conform to a new way of thinking about diet and health, which compounds this already bad situation.
The Rampant Rise in Type Two Diabetes
With obesity keeping the aging population overweight, in conjunction with their more sedentary lifestyles, there is also the associated problem of insulin resistance. As the elderly settle into insulin resistance problems, this takes them from obesity to type two diabetes. Adding to this problem the fact that many elderly people drink soda, the added high fructose corn syrup only serves to make their diabetes worse. The strain of type two diabetes on the health system alone will continue to prove to be a challenge to meet from a financial standpoint.
If obesity and type two diabetes did not pose enough of a challenge to the aging population, the fact that many of these individuals still smoke is equally concerning. The trouble with type two diabetes and smoking is that both factors create vein problems. Each factor causes a person’s veins to narrow, which begins the downward spiral into heart disease.
From Alzheimer’s to Dementia, the Baby Boomer generation is further experiencing the brunt of mental decline at an alarming rate. It is one thing to experience physical decline, but when the elderly are confused and disoriented on a mass scale, this will make it next to impossible to keep up with the sheer number of medical disorders they will continue to exhibit.
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges the Baby Boomer generation faces is how their health problems will produce problems with their living situation. Without adequate medical professionals to perform private duty work, it will be difficult for the elderly population to live at home. With the number of patients outpacing the holding capacity of elderly living facilities, it will be equally challenging to house the elderly in retirement facilities as well. It is at this point that one can expect that many of the Baby Boomers will fall through the cracks of the healthcare system.
When one looks at the big picture of the state of the healthcare system, it is easy to recognize why the system is not prepared to handle the problems imposed by the aging Baby Boomer population. Unless something radical is done to address many of these challenges, the economic strain, lack of medical professionals, and questionable living arrangements for the elderly will simply overwhelm the healthcare system as we know it.