Over 75 million Americans comprise the baby boomer generation, and many have reached an age where health care is starting to become a major concern. Baby boomers are generally recognized as the generation born between 1946 and 1964, although many who were born a few years before or after associate themselves with the name. The baby boomers represent a post World War II population explosion and their inevitable ageing has made the world statistically older than ever.
The oldest baby boomers are already in their sixties and the health care industry is beginning to feel the effect of their age. The onset of the baby boomer generation saw unprecedented growth for hospitals and clinics in the period between 1950 and 1965. It is now estimated that the current number of senior care facilities, which is far less than the number of existing hospitals and clinics, will be insufficient to handle a large number of ageing baby boomers. Furthermore, baby boomers are more likely to seek medical care than the previous generation. Where their parents would often avoid going to see the doctor, baby boomers consider medical care paramount to their overall health and happiness.
The end result of this ageing generation on the health care industry will be the creation of several new jobs out of necessity. The US Department of Labor estimates that the health care industry will experience growth that is well above average compared to all other industries over the next two decades. This can be attributed directly to the sheer numbers of this ageing generation and their outlook on medical care. In fact, it is entirely possible that there may be a shortage of health care workers in the very near future.
Shortages in personnel often cause wages to rise, a scenario that seems a likely fate for many health care positions. Only time will tell if the supply of workers is able to meet the demands placed on the health care industry by the baby boomer generation.