Right now, I feel like the majority of generational studies flying across my desk are about “Millennials” or the up-and-coming this and the up-and-coming that, it’s all about what’s new. But let’s not lose sight of those other generations that are still influential to how we do business.
The maturing population, and the generations within it, poses many opportunities for healthcare marketers. But the biggest opportunities will come if we can remain on top of the trends surrounding these individuals, specifically the Traditionalists.
Who are the Traditionalists? Also known as the “Silent Generation” this group tends to get lost in the mix of generational studies, but it is only one step up from the Baby Boomer generation. The Traditionalists are projected to grow from 39 million to 72 million in the next twenty years. Putting their influence in perspective, they currently make up about 13 percent of the total U.S. population and as the population ages, they will make up closer to 19 percent in 2030.
Let’s look at some top trends in the healthcare industry for this growing group:
- Waistbands are expanding. About three-fourths of these men and women are considered overweight, while 40% are considered clinically obese – which can lead to many health issues. This shows an opportunity for healthcare providers to come alongside patients in an effort to keep them healthy and active.
- Fitness isn’t equal. These older men exercise more than their female counterparts, with less than a third of women ages 65+ meeting the national aerobic activity guidelines or the muscle strengthening standards.
- Feeling good. Despite the lack of regular exercise, less than one-quarter feel their health is lacking in some way, stating that it is fair or poor. This is an opportunity to leverage preventative care and continued healthy living lifestyle classes and events.
- Usage is high. Only about 5 percent report not seeing a healthcare professional in some capacity – seeing a doctor, going to an emergency room or receiving medical treatment – during the course of a year. Over half have had four or more such visits in a year. Knowing that frequency of visits is high for this generation, healthcare providers can use these as an additional touch point for when and how they can promote supplementary and related healthcare services.
For healthcare providers and marketers, these trends represent real opportunities to speak to this generation. We also know that as they age, their healthcare needs will continue to evolve. For that reason, as we keep up to date on the newest, hippest trends, we see a need to keep our finger on the pulse of every generation and how they are continually changing as well.