Advancements in medicine have helped many live longer lives, but are these elderly taking care of themselves to prepare for those later years? According to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, Baby Boomers, are in worse health than their parents at their age. Only 13% of Baby Boomers are in “excellent health” compared to the 32% of the previous generation at their age. 39% are obese compared to 29% of the last generation. They are more likely to have high cholesterol and diabetes. Compared to the previous generation, they are twice as likely to use a walker or cane. So what is causing the drop in health? Researchers believe that the aging Baby Boomers are sitting longer and not staying active.
This news is alarming because Baby Boomers make up over a quarter of the population, and as they age, the demands on the healthcare industry will be enormous, especially if this age group is in poor health already. The demand for nurses by 2020 is expected to rise by 2.8 million new nurses and replacements according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, but if seniors do not start to change their lifestyles this could increase.
The good news from the report are that Baby Boomers are less likely to have emphysema and to have a heart attack than their elderly counterparts. It is also never too late to start living a healthier lifestyle. It is much easier to start being proactive about one’s health, eating better and exercising regularly, than to only be reactive and end up taking care of your body with the help of medicine and other treatments.
Are you interested in helping the elderly? Maybe you are interested in working at a rehabilitation center or nursing home where the elderly need assistance. If you would like to learn more about the different programs at Marian College, visit our page. We can answer your questions and set up an appointment to see what career path is right for your interests.