I read a fascinating and at the same time sobering article written by the Mayo Clinic about the health issues Baby Boomers face and their potential need for long term care in the near future… As you might know in 2006, the first baby-boomer became age 60. Baby-boomers are members of the generation born between 1946 and 1964 and represent an huge demographic bulge totaling 76 million people who can be expected to need and use long term care facilities and home health care services at some point in their lives.
The Baby-boomer Generation is an immense cohort that the long term care industry must plan for simply because of its sheer population size. The Boomers will be a huge strain on many government funded programs such as health-care and they will be using long term care industries because of their lifestyles that has caused health problems such as the main culprit…obesity.
On December 8, 2005, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Center for Health Statistics published a press release titled Obesity, High Blood Pressure Impacting Many U.S. Adults Ages 55 – 64. That press release stated that 50% of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 have high blood pressure, which is one of the leading risk factors to heart disease and stroke. Compounding the problem, the article went on to state that 40% of that age group is obese.
The United States has the highest prevalence of obesity among the developed nations in the world which will cause many to need long term care in the future. The implications of being obese and having high blood pressure are huge because these conditions weigh heavily on older individuals’ ability to care for themselves, i.e., perform ADLs thus resulting in needing long term care services.
According to a Mayo Clinic article on obesity, obese people are more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:
- high blood pressure;
- diabetes (Type II) and elevated A1C levels;
- High blood fat content which can easily lead to coronary artery disease and stroke;
- coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack;
- osteoarthritis causing joint pain and stiffness and can lead to falls that cause bone fractures;
- All types of cancer;
- fatty liver disease, including cirrhosis;
- gallbladder disease; and
According to Mayo Clinic, overweight and obesity are determined by using weight and height to calculate the individuals body mass index (BMI). An adult with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered “overweight.” and an adult with a BMI of 30 or more is considered “obese.” The aging Baby-Boomer population and their health concerns make them extremely likely to need long term care services in the future. Their general lack of fitness is likely to result in a increase in chronic disease and injury before they pass away.
These facts are the main reason that Baby-Boomers should look into long term care insurance if they can afford it, because if they plan today they can peacefully enjoy tomorrow. If you would like to learn more about long term care insurance and see if it is right for you simply fill in this form and we will mail you the top 10 “Blue-Chip” long term care insurance companies.