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Baby Boomer expert educates, entertains packed crowd of over 200 during Elant’s annual breakfast
Matt Thornhill, a charismatic national Baby Boomer expert spoke to more than 200 people who attended Elant’s complimentary breakfast, sponsored by Birchez Associates, at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor on Nov. 10, 2010.
The staggering statistic means big change for companies and healthcare organizations as we move into the future. That’s according to Matt Thornhill, a charismatic national Baby Boomer expert who spoke to more than 200 people who attended Elant’s complimentary breakfast, sponsored by Birchez Associates, at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor.
“The age tsunami is here; it’s inevitable demographic destiny,” Mr. Thornhill said. “The future is old!”
In fact, the number of people age 65 or older will jump by more than 52 percent across the Hudson Valley (Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Rockland, and Westchester counties), according to the Cornell University Program on Applied Demographics. Those 85 and older will increase by more than 26 percent.
Mr. Thornhill is founder and president of The Boomer Project (boomerproject.com)
During his talk, that often wrought laughter from the crowd, Mr. Thornhill explained that Boomers are like no generation before them. He described them (and himself, as he is also a Boomer) as resistant to settle for the status quo, committed to a strong sense of independence, and maintaining a laser focus on results. More importantly, however, is the sense that being “elderly” doesn’t apply to Baby Boomers. Instead, Boomers have extended the age range in which someone is middle-aged, and consider aging a state of mind rather than a state of being.
“Baby Boomers aren’t worried about the problems of aging,” Mr. Thornhill explained. “They’re looking at the promise of aging.”
To help prepare for the retirement of Boomers, Mr. Thornhill outlined several trends and forecasts his extensive research uncovered. Those include a strong focus on patient-directed healthcare and the future impacts of the current obesity epidemic. A dozen years ago, for example, there wasn’t a single state in America that had more than 20 percent of its population with a BMI of over 30 percent. Now there is only one state who could boast the same, a fact which is likely to alter the healthcare landscape moving ahead.
There is also going to be an increase in chronic conditions, an increase in the current nursing shortage (from 10 percent in 2010 to 24 percent by 2020), and a decrease in the number of family members available to help assist with care of Baby Boomers, he said. Couple the latter with Boomers’ trend toward aging in their own homes and we’ll also see an enormous increase in the need for home care services, like those offered through Elant’s Community Health Services.
“The question isn’t if you will need help, but when,” said Kate Thomas, vice president of Elant Community Health Services. “With our seven community-based programs offered in four counties, our hope is that when you’re the one in need, you’ll allow Elant Community Health Services to help you age in place with dignity and a high quality of life.”
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About Elant: Elant, Inc., a community-based, not-for-profit organization, has been a part of the Hudson Valley healthcare landscape for the past 25 years. Its seven campuses, located across five counties, serve an estimated 3,500 people daily and provide sub-acute care and rehabilitation services, nursing home care, assisted living, adult day care, retirement community living, home health care, and a managed long-term care plan. Elant’s mission is to provide personalized, high-quality care and lifestyle options to persons of diverse generations, cultures, means, and needs.