Some believe the pandemic has worsened ageism, an unfortunate bias against older folks. Ageism seems crystallized in the meme “OK Boomer”. The reality of this ongoing public health crisis is that it has uncovered the vulnerability and dependency of older folks. Sometimes, to the resentment of others.
Does this OK Boomer attitude really matter? Particularly in oral healthcare where the older folks seem to drift away, visiting less and less frequently. Is an OK Boomer strategy for re-growing the practice, a good one?
The OK Boomer meme ignores a fundamental fact of the Canadian population. Those age 65+ are the fastest growing cohort in our population. By contrast the younger, working-age groups are not growing at all. In just 10 years, 2030, the OK Boomer crowd is expected to grow by a third while those who coined the term, will stay the same in numbers.
And there is another consideration. The OK Boomer crowd have money and, from the pandemic, a newfound desire to spend their way to better health in different ways. Sure, no more cruises. But pass the fruits and veggies and just perhaps, manage my bleeding gums please.
In short, if there is an OK Boomer strategy for re-growth, it had better be a positive one. The traditional oral healthcare focus on the working age family has real limitations.
OK Boomer now says: welcome you Seniors. We can meet your needs for better oral health at an affordable cost.