The Dementia, Baby Boomer and Caregiver Connection

Posted on February 10, 2011 by Michael Corley, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

Perhaps it is because I am working on this initiative, but I can swear there is more and more talk about dementia, and it is being discussed under the topics of aging, baby boomers and caregiving.

Perhaps the baby boomer generation will once again lead a title wave of change by creating awareness and understanding for dementia and caregiving. Maybe they will help eliminate the stigma of dementia like they did for HIV and breast cancer.

Last week, Diane Sawyer of ABC News did a week-long special on the topic of aging parents. This is something baby boomers are currently facing at an increasing rate.  Boomers are becoming caregivers of their parents and older siblings. They are learning the limitations of our healthcare system. They are experiencing the frustration of trying to be caregivers and live their lives.

In addition, boomers themselves are aging – 10,000+ a day are now turning 65 years old. While the generation ahead of the Boomers is not likely to ask for help, the American Boomer is not going to sit idly by accepting aging and dementia. Boomers are going to fight. They are going to demand services which accommodate their needs as they age (as this generation has always demanded).

This is an active generation, and as such, all of us will benefit.  (Examples of activity:  When their relatives got dementia and there were no resources online, these baby boomers developed their own - and .)

It is important that the Boomers get engaged because dementia is going to hit them hard – at least statistically.  The number of Boomers getting dementia will increase each year for the next 40+ years.

So maybe the talk of dementia really is becoming more prevalent.  Maybe with the help of the Boomers, we are going to see significant change once again…this time with dementia. I hope so.

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