an online resource for baby boomers

The New Face of Homecare

Homecare services have enjoyed a long relationship with The Greatest Generation. The World War II generation provided homecare with a population of clients that were unassuming and willing to follow direction, accustomed to a world of few choices, had a respect for institutions and admired the medical community. They were hard workers and savers, used to doing without. This generation’s demands were easily met.

Now homecare faces a new generation: The Baby Boomers. Unlike the generation before them, this new client is a generation of individualists. They are diverse thinkers with diverse demands. They are the “Starbucks” generation with an attitude of “I will have it my way.” This is not a population of people who will happily settle into institutions where everyone eats the same thing at the same time. They question everything and, be sure if you don’t have the answer, they will find it themselves…online. They view the medical community as their partner, not their provider. Most have done better than their parents. They will be more demanding and better educated then their predecessor. They have been caregivers. Often, they have had the responsibility of caring for their aging parents. They understand “systems” and they don’t like them.

This Baby Boomer group are presenting to the medical community with largest numbers of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, anxiety disorders and drug abuse ever seen. The veteran population within this group also brings medical challenges unique to the time in which they served. The challenge of caring for this group in a time of payment reduction, denied authorization for care, and increasing cost will require major change in the way we deliver care. This new generation of clients has fewer family caregivers available to them. They have smaller families, fewer children and often have a great physical distance from their families. Hence, the non-medical services they require will have to be found within the community. Treating the “whole person” will take on a new meaning.

Homecare and the medical community have a big adjustment coming to them very quickly. The medical community must form a partnership with this new population of clients to provide better quality of care. The clients will determine their own path, and it will require a flexible, individualized approach from service providers. The new face of homecare, while in its infancy, is quickly taking shape.

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Boomers Resource Guide is a special supplement to the Senior Citizen's Guide