Baby Boomers, that is, people born about one year after World War II until about 1964, are aging in record numbers. The oldest among them have already turned 70, while their youngest cohorts are about 18 years younger. As this population continues to age, the services they require will increase in demand.
There were about 76 million boomers still alive in 2005. This group is making demands on the economy in many ways, and one of the main ways is in health care. One innovation that boomers will demand more of is a new way to treat cataracts and other vision problems, intra-ocular lenses. Alcon Laboratories developed a lens called ReSTOR which most likely will be highly desired by people who would like to improve their vision without using eyeglasses, contact lenses, or laser surgery.
One other innovation which is getting some interest by boomers is something called balloon kyphoplasty. This surgical procedure is designed to alleviate pain and correct spinal fractures resulting from osteoporosis and/or cancer. Since 199 over 115,000 spinal fractures have been treated with balloon kyphoplasty.
“We’ve been impressed at how, in a relatively short time, balloon kyphoplasty has been so widely accepted by orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons,” said one observer.
Baby boomers will also be choosing nursing homes and assisted living arrangements as they age. Recently Dry Harbor Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center has enlarged its team and improved its cardio-pulmonary center just in time to accommodate the expected increase in demand. Located in Middle Harbor, Queens, Dry Harbor Nursing Home has a 360-bed facility and boasts one of the largest and most comprehensive rehab teams in the borough.
Just as the boomers made their impact on pop culture, politics and much else in the American cultural scene when they were younger, they are changing the field of healthcare as they age.