Friday, November 21, 2008

Today's Boomers: Tomorrow's Over 65ers

South Dakota has peered into its demographic future and doesn't like what it sees. By 2025, the number of South Dakotans older than 65 will double, constituting a quarter of the population. The number with disabilities will increase from 42,000 to 50,000. The state needs to redistribute nursing home beds from rural areas to urban, and it needs to increase at-home care services by a factor of four.

The Continuum of Care Needs of the Elderly in South Dakota Task Force (or CCNESDTF for short -- just kidding!), has made numerous recommendations based on the study's findings. According to the Rapid City Journal, one recommendation is to create a single-entry system -- an office that can direct patients and caregivers to needed services.

States across the country are finally beginning to wrestle with these issues. If we might be so immodest, we'll take this opportunity to put in a plug for the approach taken by our home state, the Commonwealth of Virginia. Government can address only pieces of the puzzle. Meeting the Age Wave challenge requires a comprehensive effort. The privately funded Older Dominion Partnership is engaging not only government agencies, but the private sector (hospitals, health care providers, insurance carriers and more) as well as not-for-profits to develop a coordinated response to several hot-button issues.

Recognizing that today's Baby Boomers are tomorrow's over-65 set, the Boomer Project's own John Martin has been a key player in pushing the Older Dominion initiative forward. We'll have more exciting news to report in the new future.

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Valuable Insights into the Hearts, Minds and Wallets of Today's Baby Boomers

This blog is by the authors of Boomer Consumer: Ten New Rules for Marketing to America's Largest, Wealthiest and Most Influential Group, on sale now.

Here is where you'll find information referenced in the book, as well as updates, news and perspectives from Matt Thornhill and John Martin, founders of the Boomer Project.