Ready or not… The now second largest generation in the nation will be entering the ages of retirement, with many beginning to create an impact on home care. These baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, have some traits which will make staying at home, with in-home care as needed, a desirable solution. This generation followed their parents by participating in some of the greatest years of economic growth and prosperity experienced as a country. Much as their traits and values of individual choice, ownership, health and wellness, adaptability, and positive attitude shaped their decisions in their career and family raising years, this generation will bring new opportunities in home care.
The work ethic and independence of the Baby Boomer generation has contributed to many entering the later years in their lives who have the means to choose – even create – options in how they will be cared for. In general, Baby Boomers have a great deal to be proud of as a result of their influence in industry and economy over the decades they were in the work force. Though their bodies might force some dependence on others into the picture, many will insist on aging where they are most comfortable – in their homes.
Fundamental Care, Instead of Total Care
Options for the elderly prior to the development of the home care industry seemed to consist of either in-home hospice/health care, a family member coming into the home, or moving into a senior living facility. Those who were generally healthy, but needed assistance with simpler things like laundry, cooking, shopping, or going to doctor appointments didn’t have many practical options. Home care provides options for seniors to get the assistance they need for a few hours or constant care in the comforts of their home.
Focus on Quality of Life
With medical advances extending life expectancies and the health of many in their later years, the baby boomers are generally motivated with choices that enhance their quality of life. Having a part-time to full-time caregiver allows them to focus more on the things they enjoy. By removing stress from the family in completing daily tasks required around the home and doctor visits, time with family becomes about relationships instead of chores. Diligent caregivers also relieve the elderly of dealing with chores that become increasingly difficult for them as they age. As you meet with potential and current clients, it’s important to pair them with caregivers who will understand what is needed in order for the baby boomers to live the quality of life they are hoping to live through your home care services.
Variety and Options
Baby boomers are very accustomed to investigating options and making educated choices. They are also less likely to settle when expectations aren’t being met. They are savvy in using technology and other resources to evaluate your services against what might be expected through other home care agencies. Your agency needs to be ahead of the curve in being able to effectively communicate the services you provide and what sets you apart. And, you need to back your claims with the highest level of care possible in order to retain a baby boomer as a client.
Baby boomers have left their mark on every stage of their lives, and it should be no surprise their approach to life will create a shift in what it means to get older. Despite effects of age on the body, they will want to set the terms of how they spend their time after retirement. In our history, Baby Boomers are the largest generation now entering into their golden years. Being aware of what their needs are, and being proactive in evolving to meet these needs will put your agency in a position to benefit as the demand for home care continues to increase.