Baby Boomers, who are currently between the ages of 50-68, are hailed as breaking the mold in many facets of life: they are wealthier, more educated and question the status quo more than any generation that came before them. By all accounts, they have redefined the aging process … it had to be a Boomer who came up with the phrase 50 is the new 40, right?
In light of all this trailblazing, as a generation, Boomers surprisingly are less healthy than previous generations. A survey sponsored by the National Institute on Aging examined the health status of 20,000 Baby Boomers between 51 and 56 stacked up against the previous generation during the same age bracket and found that Boomers lagged behind. The younger generation actually reported the most consistent pain and chronic health conditions. In addition, Boomers have a higher prevalence of alcoholism and psychiatric problems.
This is having a direct impact, especially on women, whose life expectancy rate is growing more slowly than men. Combine this with the fact that 66 percent of Boomer women feel misunderstood by healthcare marketers and the challenge of reaching and engaging these women becomes complex. In order to encourage meaningful health care dialogue with these women, we must:
- Tap into the rebellious spirit and self empowering identity that defines the generation
- Appeal to how individual Boomers feel about themselves in their current life stage … don’t treat them like they are only someone’s grandmother – Oprah, Madonna and Maria Shriver are all Boomers – not exactly the “granny type”
- Rely on other women/patients to help tell your story, ensuring the engagement is authentic. These women have learned a thing a two over the years, are proud of their life experiences and want to share their wisdom to help others
- Reach them through the right venues and platforms. Baby Boomers may be more likely to read a physical newspaper than younger generations, but they have a very active online presence, as well.
Keeping these tenets in mind will help to demonstrate a better understanding of Boomer women and create a richer dialogue and engaging experience with an important audience.