Self Care; Bridging the Generational Gap
The ABC’s of Self Care G
A Nikken Wellness Home is designed to address many health concerns, including environmental toxins, contagions, dehydration, poor sleep quality, weight matters and nutrition. In a practical sense, the Wellness Home creates an environment that enables us to make healthier choices every day.
This week our series on the ABC’s of Self Care continues with G. We need a few single letter blogs to accommodate the 26-letter alphabet. Three a week just doesn’t pencil out.
G- Last week we discussed gastrointestinal health in Digestion, so for G let’s take a little different approach and talk about the benefits of Self Care and the Wellness Home for Generational attitudes concerning health. Just as each generation has its own soundtrack and cultural references, every age group has a different view of what it means to be and stay healthy.
About 76 million people were born during the baby boom years, which range from 1946 to 1964.
Baby boomers want to live longer even as many are managing chronic ailments. For them, staying healthy means avoiding a health scare like getting cancer or having a heart attack and, most important, getting the most from their life.
Baby Boomers are very likely to seek health information online. A Google/Nielsen Boomer Survey from August 2012 reported that 78 percent of this age group has searched health information online after seeing something on TV. Their searches focus on treatments, medications, side effects, and risks. They are more trusting of the healthcare system than younger generations but are questioning traditional treatment and management protocols more and more. They are actively searching for products and or technologies that can help them feel better, be healthier and more active. As more and more boomers reach retirement age, there's a generational focus on longevity and delaying the physical and visible effects of aging. They might be more skeptical and questioning, but providing logical, fact-based solutions are accepted readily.
Health appears to be greater priority for boomers today than for previous generations. It’s becoming clear that baby boomers are placing a greater importance on healthier lifestyles. This demographic has seen increased activity in pharmacy visits, and the purchase of vitamins, fitness equipment, and health foods. A survey of affluent boomers (household include 250k+) found that over 80% identified health as a top priority.
It’s sounds almost cliché, but baby boomers are more demanding than other generations. A research study by Colloquy found that among all generations, baby boomers were the most likely to write off a company if they received poor customer service. Boomers are also the most confident of all consumers – with only 12% responding that they prefer having the help of others to make a purchase. This is unlike millennials, who reported a much higher percentage.
Recent studies report that Boomers are less stressed than Gen Xers or Millennials, and despite age-related diseases, they report feeling healthier compared with their younger counterparts. Unfortunately, the next generation of seniors may not be as well off. According to a study released in 2016 by the United Health Foundation, compared with the current senior population when they were middle-aged, the next wave of seniors smokes 50 percent less, yet has a 55 percent higher prevalence of diabetes, a 25 percent higher prevalence of obesity, and a 9 percent lower frequency of very good or excellent health status.
As a boomer, I can attest and endorse the Nikken Wellness Home. I can honestly say, I feel healthier at age 66 than I did at 46. I credit this to the simple self care principles outlined in many of our videos, publications and blogs supported by the products and technologies that constitute our Wellness Home.
I have been a consumer of the product line from Nikken for over 20 years. It has made my Choice to be Healthy a simple and rewarding experience. Sharing self care concepts and choices for others has become a passion to empower anyone to be Healthy by Choice.
Generation X (born in the mid-1960s to the early 1980s) represent nearly 62 million Americans. They are called the first generation of true health care consumers. Caught in the middle, Generation Xers are often considered as health influencers. They are looking after the health of their aging parents as well as their young children, not to mention struggling to eat better, exercise more, and get more sleep themselves.
More than half of Gen X’ers say they follow healthy habits most of the time, almost a third say they struggle with weight, making it their number one health issue.
Gen X’ers are willing to spend now to stay healthy later. They are very open to self care and prevention as opposed to treating and managing health problems. Sixty-nine percent of Gen X women and 60% of men express interest in products to improve their health. More than half of these consumers say they take a supplement to address specific nutritional deficiencies, 59% take supplements for general wellness, and 56% eat functional foods. Although few say they follow health trends, 28% of Gen X women say they buy natural health products. Interestingly, 66% of Gen X’ers say they participate in self care to improve their wellbeing. This can include anything from finding more time to do the things they enjoy and feel passionate about to indulging in a bubble bath (one of Heather’s favorite leisure time activities). Positioning health care as self care may shift the mindset of these consumers and more actively engage them in the process.
Middle-age is often a wake-up call that results in the adoption of a healthier lifestyle. Marketers who help consumers adapt to the changes they’re experiencing and offer solutions for long-term wellbeing, can engage and inspire the Gen X’ers.
Heather here. I remember at a young age being labeled as Generation X, the “ME generation.” Boomers looked down their noses on what was perceived as a thirst for excess and over indulgence. It is true we weren’t happy with the status quo and wanted more but not just for ourselves, for everyone around us and it is this desire that, in my opinion, lead to 80 hour work weeks instead of 40. We didn’t just not trust the system, we honestly couldn’t spare the time. Instead, I maintained an excessive exercise program to avoid check-ups and doctor visits. This worked great when I was younger.
As an aging Gen Xer I now realize this was a mistake and changes to my routines HAVE to be made. Self Care and the Wellness Home help me maintain my “indulgent” lifestyle but in a different way.
Self Care and the act of making healthy choices everyday keep my mind, body and my family healthy. The Wellness Home encompasses Self Care and creates a haven of health that includes healthy finances (Gen Xers love this part).
I am proud to be a Gen Xer that gave birth to Millenials and a Gen Z that are so much smarter than me. I am also very thankful for being able to nurture my boomer parents and my children in a Wellness Home. Our goal is to make every home a Wellness Home so that we may all live in a healthy society.
Millennials (born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s), also known as Generation Y, include more than 80 million adults. As the largest generation in the United States, and one whose purchasing power continues to grow, Millennials are having a major and increasing influence on just about every industry out there. Healthcare is no exception.
The mindsets, influencers and habits of Millennials don't align with traditional models of healthcare. Millennials’ distrust of large, old institutions is no secret. Millennials continuously find ways to circumvent traditional dogma and come up with innovative ideas as new solutions. To many millennials, the idea of “health” suggests something institutional and, as a result, untrustworthy. As a substitute, many young people gravitate towards the idea of “wellness,” which combines physical health with a more holistic sense of mental and full-body well-being. There is no health-related industry more distrusted by the millennial generation than “Big Pharma.” Seen as dishonest and greedy, the pharmaceutical industry has been ranked as the least-trusted health information resource by people aged 18-34.
The millennial generation resists following traditional health care rules and considers wellness as equally important as health. Almost half of the generation considers maintaining work/life balance and having strong relationships with friends and family as being a significant part of health and wellness.
Highly attuned to personal lifestyle and curated online lives, millennials want to feel good and look good. Being healthy for them doesn’t just mean “not sick”, it’s a daily, active pursuit. Millennials think digitally, rely heavily on social networks for information, and gravitate toward convenient, self-serve options for health. Compared to older generations, Millennials take a broader view of what affects their health and wellness. Whereas older generations are more likely to consider regular exams important to their health, Millennials are more likely to focus on day-to-day health maintenance choices that they believe will pay off long-term. Millennials are very open to alternatives rather than traditional healthcare and pharmaceutical intervention.
Generation Z encompasses children and young adults born from 1996. This generation makes up 25.9% of the United States population, the largest percentage. By 2020, they will account for one-third of the U.S. population, certainly worth paying attention to.
Gen Z’s key health concerns are related to their life stage – getting enough sleep, managing stress, maintaining their grades, building self-esteem, and having time to socialize with family and friends. Stress is often top of mind for these notoriously over-scheduled teens – almost half are treating or preventing anxiety and stress, behind only skin problems and colds/flu, and ahead of weight issues. Exercise is a key stress management technique and is central to how teens manage a variety of health conditions, from weight issues to depression to sleep disorders. They know getting enough sleep is also key to stress management, and many teens take an active role in carving out time to get a good night’s rest. They don’t hesitate to look up or ask their social networks for answers to health and wellness questions. Yet as teens, Gen Z’s are guided and strongly influenced by their parents, many of whom are Gen X, as well as their teachers and coaches at school.
As more children are born in to Gen Z and as teens in this generation mature, marketers need to remember that Gen Z kids are already highly proactive participants in health and wellness.
One of the major benefits of Self Care and a Wellness Home is what it provides to our children. Some 20 years ago one of my mentors asked, “Imagine our children growing up in a Wellness Home, learning and practicing healthy choices daily that continue as they grow. What impact could this have on our health as a society?” Personally, our children have been exposed to and have adopted the principles of self care and being Healthy by Choice that the Wellness Home provides and continue these practices now as adults. I have no doubt that they will impart these choices on to future generations for healthier individuals and ultimately healthier societies. That’s why we advocate, “Every home a Wellness Home”.
A recent poll of cross generational participants reported that 95% of Americans link self care with healthy habits. Over 90% want better control of their health, yet only 52% considered themselves to be in good health. Less than half of those polled were pro-active when it came to their health.
Empowering Americans to take greater ownership of their health has never been more important. The rising cost of healthcare, the unprecedented increase in chronic disease, and the cost of treating and managing preventable conditions has launched an Awakening to raise Self Care as an essential component of health care. Regardless of generational differences, informing people about self care is the path to improve individual health, reduce medical costs and empowering anyone to be Healthy by Choice, not by Chance.