Generation (wh)Y Aging Experts Should Target Millennials
As professionals in the field of aging, we often tend to focus on and bring information to the older population. In terms of dementia care, we tend to focus on the significant other as the caregiver. There is a population we, as professionals, are missing completely. A population that is providing the care and making the decisions for our older adults. A population that is almost completely clueless about resources for the aging and dementia as a whole. And it’s our fault because we are not reaching out to them in a way that is practical. I am talking about the MILLENNIALS. Those who reached young adulthood around the start of the millennium.
This hits home for me because I am a Millennial. I am a part of “Generation Y” and much like other millennials, my parents are baby boomers.
Generation Y the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s. We are currently our 20s and 30s. (I know you’ve been wondering how old I am!)
Baby boomers were born after World War II between the years of 1946 and 1964 (52-70 years of age in 2016).
Before opening Trovato, LLC I would often think to myself:
What if my dad were diagnosed?
What would I do?
Does he have enough money in his retirement?
Could I take care of him?
Would he have to move closer to me or I closer to him?
This was part of my motivation to open my own company. When I embarked on this journey, I had told myself I wanted to be different. I wanted to fill gaps in care and bring something necessary and new to the field of aging and dementia.
We must shift our focus from being reactive to being PROACTIVE.
- 5.3 Million people have Dementia
- About 200,000 are diagnosed before the age of 65.
- The amount of people with Dementia is predicted to grow as high as 16 million.
- By 2030, about one in five Americans will be older than 65.
- At this time, the youngest baby boomer will be 66 years old.
Not only that, baby boomers are more likely to be divorced than any other Generation, leaving their children to make their decisions or provide the care themselves.
MILLENNIALS WILL BE CAREGIVERS.
Rather than hearing another story about someone who was showing signs their children didn’t know were signs until it was too late, let’s provide this generation with information and resources so if they need it, they have it!
We have 14 years. Let’s start today! Here are some recommendations I have come up with for working with Millennials as I am one myself:
- Limit the information we are receiving. We are learning a lot of information, balancing a lot and trying to succeed all while trying to enjoy time with our friends and family. We lose attention quickly as we are constantly multitasking and weeding out tasks that we consider unimportant at that time. Give us the bullet points.
- We are very keen on technology. We don’t want a million phone calls for follow-up or information. We like to read articles, lists, etc. Something quick, concise, and available on our phones.
- Our generation only seems selfish, but we’re not. Knowing how our parents being diagnosed would impact our lives and how we can help them without inconveniencing ourselves is helpful. It sounds bad but we really are just a generation filled with lofty goals and we WANT to achieve them. This is something our parents instilled in us and they want us to succeed as well. So it isn’t completely selfish!
- We will work with people who respect us and who we can trust. If you try to sell us too hard or disrespect us because of our age, we won’t work with you. We may be young but we are an intelligent and forward thinking generation. So treat us like an equal as you share this information with us.