There is no shortage of talk about the health care needs of the 78 million Baby Boomers who will soon hit the 65 mark. Where will they go for care? Will Medicare be there for them? Can our health care system handle it?
Because health and aging is such a big issue, it’s easy to focus most of our energy on it. But that alone does not – and should not – define a generation.
One look at 2013 data from Porter Novelli Styles and you will quickly see that Baby Boomers are smashing stereotypes. Along the way, they are creating bold, new expectations for themselves and for society. That means new challenges for us as communicators.
Boomers are online, and not just looking at pictures of family members. In addition to trusting health care providers, they have a more diverse approach to learning about health issues than previous generations of older Americans. They are following brands, actively looking for information to better their lives, participating in contests, seeking out the best deals. This is a population who influences and is influenced by peers’ purchasing and lifestyle decisions. Community issues, like improving local schools, matter to them. And marketers take note – Boomers are a brand-loyal group who care about social issues like the environment, and they keep an eye on which companies do, too.
This generation has spoken. They will not sit back and wait for old age to come to them and do with them what it may. The opportunity this generation presents to the corporate sector is fresh and new. But the responsibility is even greater. We as communicators must bring our best thinking together so that we prepare all sectors of society to meet their needs.