Currently viewing the tag: "baby boomers"

Don’t say I didn’t tell you, cos I remember talking about this ad infinitum over the last two years. But the medical care you knew and loved is going away. And many reading this are perfectly happy about this, but not baby-boomers retiring to rural areas. Yes, seems that primary care physicians are hard to find in many small towns, and it looks like it may worsen.

Baby-boomers, the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, could have difficulty finding doctors over the next twenty years. With Medicare cuts proposed targeted under the federal health care overhaul, the shortage is likely to get even worse, said Mark Pauly, professor of health care management at the University of Pennsylvania. Primary care physicians out in rural areas make less per procedure in the Medicare schedule than their city counterparts, and with a cut in the already small reimbursement inherent in the system, doctors are running to the city in droves. Well, no duuuuuuhhhh…….

A 2009 survey of doctors in the Oregon Medical Association showed 19.1 percent of Oregon doctors had closed their practices to Medicare, and 28.1 percent had restricted the numbers of Medicare patients.

The good news is that we knew it was coming, right? Well, there’s at least one solution–Nurse Practitioners (NP). NPs can do medical exams, prescribe some drugs, give shots, take vitals, and so forth…sort of a doctor/nurse hybrid. It’s smart, and I like it. I have worked with a few NPs, and what they  can do—their scope—along with their competency, is top-notch. It’s like an all-in-one healthcare practitioner. I have lots of respect for NPs.

Now for you boomers who have decided to retire to rural communities, you may find that you’ll need to pay some things out of pocket. Just come to terms with that: health care is changing, and there’s no need to protest by neglecting your body. I know we all want to get what has been promised to us, and you know what…we just may, in fact, get that…but if for any reason it doesn’t go back to the way it once was, you still need your health. So take care of it, both by participating in health-enhancing behaviors (like seeing a chiropractor–also a primary care doctor, but sans prescription rights), but also by seeing your NP…hey many of them make house calls.

Listen, our old institutions are changing–in some ways for the better (like you taking a proactive approach to your health), and in others for the worse (quality will ultimately suffer, in my opinion). We’ve got to have creative solutions to these new problems–the easiest is to continue taking care of your body. But creating a self-funded medical account will probably be a wise move too.

Do you remember the Summer of Love?  How about “free love,” or “make love, not war?”  If you do, you’re probably a baby boomer.  And even more likely that you are dissatisfied with your current sex life, because that’s what a recent poll has shown, today’s middle-aged Americans are less satisfied with their sex lives than any other age group.  Perhaps we should change the slogan to “Make quilts…they’re easier.”
According to the Associated poll, only 7% of Americans aged 45-65 described their sex lives as extremely satisfied.  Nearly 25% of this group said they were dissatisfied with their sex lives, compared to 12% of 18- to 29-year-olds, 20% of those 30-44 and 17% of those over 65.  Pretty tough when your parents are more satisfied with their sex lives in their golden years.

Baby boomers, it seems, may feel like they’ve tried all there is to try sexually, as nearly three in five women and half of men in this age group said they have done it all.  28% of men between 45 and 65 said they are sexually dissatisfied, while more than two in five said their sex lives got worse in the last decade.  Further, nearly half of male baby boomers said their partners do not want sex often enough, while only 17% of women felt similarly let down.

But saying that, it is men that are plagued by performance problems.  The poll found two in five men between 45 and 65 having problems with sexual functioning, while only 19% of women in the same age group said the same. For both genders, less than half received treatment.

The Poll involved online interviews with 945 people between 45 and 65, as well as companion interviews with an additional 587 people aged 18-44 and over 65.  It was conducted using KnowledgePanel, which uses a probability-based design. Respondents to the survey were first selected randomly for KnowledgePanel using phone or mail survey methods and were later interviewed for this survey online.

Well, all I can say is that maybe changing the world has its drawbacks.  Since the boomer generation has been involved in many of the major cultural changes of the modern age, as well as being at the forefront of experimentation of all types (think hippies, sexual revolution, acceptance of premarital sex, abortion legalization, and coming out), perhaps there isn’t much else left to the imagination.  I’m sure that the 7% of satisfied middle-agers have kept searching–and finding.  But for a large number, they’re a bit spent.

It’s never too late however; so don’t give up on retaining a satisfying sex life just yet boomers.  A gerbil here, a geisha there…get creative, dang it!  It can only get better…or worse.  It’s up to you.  But my guess is that dissatisfaction means it’s still somewhat important to you.  It’s all in the mind, anyway.  Change that and you’re home free.

Baby boomers are being nagged by injuries–more than the generation before them. In fact, baby boomers have more disabilities than people over age 65. What the heck is going on here?According to data from the National Health Interview Survey, conducted annually from 1997 to 2007 and including up to 15,000 individuals each year, more than 40 percent of people aged 50 to 64 reported having problems with at least one of nine physical functions, and many reported difficulty with more than one. Although health problems as a whole did not increase for this age group, physical disabilities, like trouble climbing ten stairs, did. The number of baby boomers using special equipment to get around, such as a cane or wheelchair, also increased. Hmmm…. Here’s the breakdown of the number of adults per 10,000, ages 50 to 64, who reported difficulty with various actions in the 2005-2007period and from 1997-1999 (in parentheses).

  • Stooping, bending, kneeling: 3,129 (2,875)
  • Standing two hours: 2,491 (2,321)
  • Pushing or pulling large object: 2,010 (2,024)
  • Walking a quarter-mile: 2,146 (1,954)
  • Climbing 10 steps: 1,749 (1,537)
  • Sitting two hours: 1,491 (1,445)
  • Lifting and carrying 10 pounds: 1,410 (1,387)
  • Reaching over head: 1,186 (1,149)
  • Grasping small objects: 1,128 (1,109

Experts are unclear about the cause of this trend. What’s enjoyable to read, however, are the comments posted to the yahoo news page of this report (link no longer available). Some people blame obesity, although the study makes very clear that obesity is not an important cause of the disabilities. Some think it might be processed foods, some exposure to DDT and other chemicals, while others yet to excessive television viewing by boomers. I love to see people thinking and trying to find a cause, but I have to say none of these guesses make complete sense. Here is my shot at it: Baby boomers are the first generation to really believe they can have it all–career, family, and endless health. They were the generation that pushed themselves physically, if not from day one, then by jumping on the fitness bandwagon when jogging, Tae Bo and Richard Simmons came onto the scene. Many boomers followed the trend rather than taking time to learn the proper form. This leads to injuries. Boomers also saw the greatest advances in medical technology. Hurt yourself Lambada-ing? No problem–medical science will fix it. Additionally, boomers as a whole tended to trust their medical doctors unquestionably. If Dr. Welby says to take Vioxx, then by golly I’ll do it. Um hm. So my take is that boomers pushed themselves harder physically than any generation before them (graceful agers); to that I applaud. But they relied on medical advice for their musculoskeletal issues, and as I pointed out last post, big mistake. Medical doctors are coming out of school poorly prepared to deal with musculoskeletal problems–this by their own analysis. As such, there have been oodles of surgeries–routine ones, routine ones, that’s what we’ve been told–and here we are witnessing the end result: increased disabilities. Sure one could argue that perhaps medical science saved many a crippling by this daring, if not reckless, generation. But I don’t think so. I am certain that you can have excellent function to live the life you love well into old age–I see it in my chiropractic practice every single day. So take heed Gen Xers and Millennials, take care of your bodies today–exercise, eat well, get regular chiropractic care, rest up, and minimize your intake of toxins. Learn proper form of the exercise or sport you wish to do–and learn to rehabilitate and recuperate yourself from injuries. Your physical body isn’t indestructible; it needs to be cared for like a fine-tuned machine–better than a fined-tuned machine. Educate yourself on injury prevention and proper care when you get hurt. And don’t take any one practitioner’s word as gospel. Get a few opinions and do what feels right. Lastly, don’t just choose a risky surgery because it’s sold to you as routine, even if seems like an easy way out. Conservative care can restore and preserve proper function for years to come if done right and to completion. Thank you baby boomers for paving the way through yet another uncharted territory. Younger generations listen up…and learn.

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