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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Zambakari

Retiring Baby Boomers and the Coming of the Silver Tsunami

Dr. Christopher Zambakari, BS, MBA, MIS, LP.D.

Owner/Operator, Desert Haven Home Care, Apollo Residential Assisted Living, Prescott Valley Assisted Living, The Oasis of Prescott; Founder and CEO, The Zambakari Advisory

Jessica Craig

Medical assistant,Village Medical

Credit: Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock

A “silver tsunami” is coming. The seabed of our aging shakes, the waves form and they are now visible from where we stand on the healthcare shoreline. “The first Baby Boomers reached 65 years old in 2011,” says Dr. Luke Rogers, chief of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program. “Since then, there’s been a rapid increase in the size of the 65-and-older population, which grew by over a third since 2010. No other age group saw such a fast increase.” America’s own 65-and-over population is expected to nearly double over the next three decades, from 48 million to 88 million by 2050. By 2050, global life expectancy at birth is projected to increase by almost eight years, climbing from 68.6 years old in 2015 to 76.2 years old in 2050. In addition, older adults will live longer than ever before. It is predicted one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past the age of 90.[1] Just as noteworthy, in another study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, Steven H. Woolf and Heidi Schoomaker note that between 1959 and 2016, U.S. life expectancy increased from 69.9 years to 78.9 years but declined for 3 consecutive years after 2014.[2],[3]

With aging come changes in active genetic, physiological, environmental, psychological, behavioral and social developments. Consider the quality-of-life impacts of a decrease in the functioning of one’s senses and the curtailment or outright lack of ability to carry on daily activities or physical exercise. With aging comes a heightened predisposition to the frequency of disease, frailty or disability. In truth, advancing age is the major risk factor for several chronic diseases.

[1] “Older Adults' Health and Age-Related Changes.” American Psychological Association. American Psychological Association, September 2021.

[2] Steven H. Woolf and Heidi Schoomaker, "Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates in the United States, 1959-2017," JAMA 322, no. 20 (2019).

[3] In the same study, Woolf and Schoomaker also showed that a major contributor “has been an increase in mortality from specific causes (eg, drug overdoses, suicides, organ system diseases) among young and middle-aged adults of all racial groups, with an onset as early as the 1990s and with the largest relative increases occurring in the Ohio Valley and New England.”

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