Nation Braces For Aging Baby Boomers: Impact Will Be Felt Throughout Society

Across Massachusetts and the country, government agencies and community organizations that cater to older people are gearing up for a massive shift in population as the baby boom generation retires. These demographic changes will affect housing, health care, recreation and leisure, the retail industry, government programs like Social Security and most other sectors of society as people age and their lifestyles evolve.

Boomers are classified as being born from 1946 to 1964 – and there are believed to be around 77 million Americans in that age group. That means that for every day for the next few decades, thousands of baby boomers will turn 65.

That’s in addition to the the 85- to 90-somethings whose numbers have grown by nearly one-third in the past decade, with no signs of slowing. Experts say it will take some creative steps to make communities age-friendly enough to help the coming crush of older adults stay active and independent in their own homes.
Last year, a statewide campaign called “Embrace your Future” was implemented in Massachusetts to encourage baby boomers to plan for their future long-term needs. Letters and brochures were mailed to 400,000 residents ages 45 and older to encourage conversation on aging.

Health And Fitness Are Key

Baby boomers are looking to stay physically fit. “They’re much more aware of their bodies and how important it is to keep fit and keep moving,” said Shauna Ferris, fitness director at the Old Colony YMCA in Brockton.
To help baby boomers remain active as they age, community hospitals and primary care physicians also are focusing on their lifestyles. The emphasis is on how baby boomers can take care of themselves through weight control, stress management and nutrition.

And the buying power of aging boomers is not lost on the retail industry. For instance, DeSantis Chevrolet in Brockton brought in 46 red Camaro Convertibles with an eye to selling them to nostalgic boomers. In January, the South Shore Ad Club hosted a presentation called “Baby Boomers – From Myth to Magic,” which detailed the ways in which businesses can be more appealing to baby boomers.

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