From rock ‘n roll and rebellion to cappuccino machines and laptop computers, the impact of the baby boom generation—those Americans born between 1945 and 1963—has been wide-ranging.

Health care is no exception.

According to new research, baby boomers are helping to transform health care in the U.S. with their attitudes and financial decisions.

“Technology will expand due to this aging generation and will help to provide everything from management and monitoring of health issues to promoting connections with family and friends,” noted the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) in a statement released along with its data.

According to the report, while baby boomers have grown up in a time where medical advancements have helped to alleviate many conditions and disease states, they are still exhibiting struggles with their health as a more sedentary lifestyle and poor diet habits have taken their toll.

The NMI data shows:

• One-quarter of baby boomers state they are less healthy than they expected to be at their current age; in fact, baby boomers’ self-described health rating, as being very good to excellent, has dropped from 53 percent in 2005 to 37 percent in 2011.

• The biggest fear of aging is not dying, but losing mental capacity, as stated by 45 percent of baby boomers.

• Because more than four out of five baby boomers will do whatever it takes to stay in their current residence, aging in place will spur numerous opportunities, from caregiving products and services (think onsite massage therapy) to home renovations for more senior accessibility.

• While the aging baby boomer population has a renewed responsibility for taking care of their health in order to delay aging and prevent disease, they are also being driven to health due to uncertainty about the future of the health care system (84 percent) and fear that a major illness will destroy their financial security (72 percent).

• Only two out of five Boomers state they are on target with their financial plan for retirement; more than half don’t know if they’re even putting enough money away for retirement.

In addition, the economic climate has altered the projected spending of baby boomers. While baby boomers’ investments may be gaining some ground after the initial economic downfall, they are becoming more discretionary about their spending. Therefore, Opportunities now lie in ways for products and services to support the emerging frugality movement.

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