Baby boomers aging to be self-reliant

April 26, 2010, University of Montreal

Baby boomers are retiring healthy, financially secure and with a desire to travel. According to Université de Montréal demographer Jacques Légaré, baby boomers will remain among the most self-reliant generations to reach their golden years.

"They've been independent their entire lives. They won't stop being self-reliant when they get old and sick," says Légaré, noting he's ready to back his hypothesis as he's done at various national and international conferences.

Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1966. In Quebec, they are credited with overcoming religious and sexual barriers. They built the modern infrastructure we know today and set up most social institutions. They have very few children, and according to Légaré, they don't plan on counting on their progeny to look after them in their golden years.

"They are usually well educated and have great financial means," says Légaré. "They benefited from generous pensions and have contributed to RRSPs for decades. They plan on taking advantage of that and they will."

Traditionally, when someone gets sick their spouse will care for them. If the spouse can't do so, or if the person lives alone, they will turn to their family or rely on friends. Boomers, however, could rethink this hierarchy. What will the boomer reliance system look like? Légaré believes boomers could live together in plush houses where they share the cost and services of a private nurse or independently. This cohort is referred to as the Silver Economy in the United States.

Légaré also believes aging will radically change our health-care system. "We won't put as much money in specialized medicine seeing as demand will mostly be for primary care."

Massive investments in cancer treatments or artificial hearts, says Légaré, aren't justified. "If a 72-year-old dies of cancer, it's a shame but it's not tragic," he says. "We all have to die of something. Faced with an aging population, we will have to make such choices."

"Life expectancy in Canada is 80-years-old. This reflects on the quality of life our country offers. We will have to stop investing in costly treatments that extend life, oftentimes, to inhumane conditions."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sweet, bitter, fat: New study reveals impact of genetics on how kids snack

February 22, 2018
Whether your child asks for crackers, cookies or veggies to snack on could be linked to genetics, according to new findings from the Guelph Family Health Study at the University of Guelph.

The good and bad health news about your exercise posts on social media

February 22, 2018
We all have that Facebook friend—or 10—who regularly posts photos of his or her fitness pursuits: on the elliptical at the gym, hiking through the wilderness, crossing a 10K finish line.

Smartphones are bad for some teens, not all

February 21, 2018
Is the next generation better or worse off because of smartphones? The answer is complex and research shows it largely depends on their lives offline.

Tackling health problems in the young is crucial for their children's future

February 21, 2018
A child's growth and development is affected by the health and lifestyles of their parents before pregnancy - even going back to adolescence - according to a new study by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, ...

Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette 'vapors': study

February 21, 2018
Significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils and are present in the aerosols inhaled by users, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public ...

Why teens need up to 10 hours' sleep

February 21, 2018
Technology, other distractions and staying up late make is difficult, but researchers say teenagers need to make time for 8-10 hours of sleep a night to optimise their performance and maintain good health and wellbeing.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.