The baby boomer generation – the term used to describe the 75 million individuals born between 1946 and 1964 – are making choices when it comes to their healthcare that will drastically reshape the healthcare industry we see today over the next few decades.
Due to the sheer size of the age group, baby boomers have always had an impact on consumer and political culture, but as they enter the golden age of retirement and are faced with managing more healthcare conditions and requiring more health care services, baby boomers will increasingly turn their focus and tremendous influence towards the healthcare industry overall.
The aging of the baby boomer generation presents healthcare providers with an opportunity to adopt certain services that will cater to the changing needs and wants of the rapidly expanding 65+ age group. If you want to set your practice up to be a healthcare provider of choice for this powerful generation, there are certain characteristics about baby boomers and the healthcare choices they are already making that you should understand.
Baby Boomers Don’t Shy Away from Elective Procedures
More than any generation in the past, baby boomers are seeking out solutions that will help them look and feel as young and active as they view themselves. Boomers are staying in the workforce longer, reaping the benefits of living healthier, more active lifestyles than generations before them, and they control the vast majority of the nation’s disposable income. Their strong self-image coupled with the prevalence in the media of and decreasing taboo surrounding cosmetic procedures mean baby boomers are flocking to products and procedures like:
- Non-surgical cosmetic injectables (i.e. Botox, Juvederm Ultra, Mesotherapy, etc.)
- Cosmetic dental procedures
- Weight reduction procedures
- ED medications
- Holistic beauty treatments
Over the last two decades, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the demand for cosmetic procedures for those age 65 and up has increased tremendously and the numbers are still trending upward.
“People are living longer and working longer. That is what I think really is driving this,” says Pittsburgh-based plastic surgeon Leo McCafferty.
The Baby Boomer Generation is Tech Savvy
While the stereotype is that the older generation and technology aren’t compatible, as the baby boomer generation ages we will be increasingly seeing very tech-savvy seniors. Though they did not grow up immersed in technology like the millennials, baby boomers have been communicating and working online for decades and were early adopters of smartphones and tablets. Now, more than 80% of baby boomers are active participants online and find new technology for the most part, simple to adapt.
Baby boomers are already seeking the convenience and instant-gratification of e-health portals, mobile healthcare options, and telemedicine. Over the coming decades, boomers will continue to push for healthcare to be more mobile as they will continue to have an increased need for access but want to maintain an overall active lifestyle.
Baby Boomers are Active Participants in their Health Care
The Me Generation, the nickname given to baby boomers by the generation before them, garnered this nickname because they invested more of their time and money in themselves; self-realization, self-actualization and self-help were all concepts popularized by boomers – a drastic change from the characteristic austerity of the Depression era.
Today, baby boomers turn that same level of self-focus to their healthcare. They are not afraid to shop around to find a provider that offers the services and solutions they are seeking, and spend time researching providers, their recommendations and health information online extensively. Boomers are heavy users of health tracking apps that help them monitor and manage everything from their weight, physical activity, heart rate, and blood sugar levels to how well they sleep at night.
From their healthcare providers, baby boomers expect the same kind of instant gratification they get from their personal tech. They increasingly search out providers that offer:
- Online tools at their disposal, including access to a patient portal
- 24/7 phone access to call their provider when needed, not just during office hours
- Remote monitoring and mobile health technology
Baby Boomers want to be Respected, Demand Politeness
Though they are technologically savvy, baby boomers remain loyal to traditional values like good manners, respect and politeness. They expect to be treated as they were taught to treat others and view long hold times, convoluted automated phone systems and unanswered or un-returned phone calls as absolutely unacceptable.
If your medical practice wants to attract the generation with the greatest disposable income, it is in your best interest to have an answering service that ensures their calls receive a quick response rate and the courtesy they expect.
The Doctors Answer is a medical answering service that understands every patient deserves to be treated with professional politeness. That is why our team is made up of highly trained, compassionate individuals who will be attentive and patient with every single call they receive. Learn more today about what our clients are saying about The Doctors Answer call professionals.