Caring for the baby boomer generation in home health

The Keys to Caring for the Aging Baby Boomer Population in Homecare

What should be considered when home health agencies care for baby boomers?


The demographic trend of an aging America is well-known. By 2030, all baby boomers will be at least 65 years of age and according to the United States Census Bureau, and 1 in 6 Americans were already over age 65 in 2020. To provide the best care to the tidal wave of aging adults at home where the majority want to “age in place”, homecare agencies and their caregivers should be attentive to and informed on the characteristics and anticipated needs of this generation.

Background on Baby Boomers


Born from approximately 1946 to 1964, the baby boomers are known as the generation that worked longer in life,  are goal-oriented and self-sufficient.  Learning to solve problems with the resources at hand, baby boomers are known to be reliant on little, but also value time with their family and friends. More baby boomers are educated beyond high school. They are also living less in poverty than previous older generations in their years after retirement though there remain disparities amongst minority groups.

First Impressions

Homecare agencies get one chance to make a good first impression. The right communication within the homecare agency, whether online or in person, can earn respect from baby boomers and deflect negative stereotypes and biases. It is fundamentally essential to ensure the homecare agency markets itself as respecting older adults. Agency staff should address their own attitudes towards older adults and be educated on how to display genuine care and concern through their verbal and non-verbal behaviors.

Avoid ageism and stigma associated with the baby boomer population. Negative perceptions in society that surround aging lend themselves to categorizing aging as a burden. Further, false beliefs tend to associate a decline in health as a natural course with age. Ensure the homecare agency shares how they do not reinforce these beliefs, but rather, they value each client as they age the best they can.

Specific suggestions for communication with elderly clients from the Gerontological Society of America include:

  • Reduce background noise and face the older adult at eye level (with use of eye contact) for face-to-face communication
  • Do not shout at those with hearing loss, speak slower and slightly louder
  • Try not to multitask while listening to the older adult, avoid looking at your watch, the door, or seeming rushed
  • Use visuals or reinforce verbal messages with alternative formats for explanation to improve understanding
  • Use direct straight-forward speaking strategies like simple sentence structure and avoid unnecessary added erroneous information
  • Express genuine concern for fears related to aging, chronic illness and care needs
  • Avoid “baby talk” or words of endearment (honey, sweetie)


Staying Home

How will homecare agencies care for the aging baby boomer population that has been able to be independent for so long?

Staying at home with the incorporation of homecare starts with a mind shift. Ensuring homecare agencies focus the proper emphasis on the “why” for care and the use of preventative measures are important and can be a message more easily adopted. In essence, assist the older client to see how their lives will benefit financially, emotionally, and mentally in the long run.

For a positive aging-in-place experience, the client adopts a plan of care willingly. Always get input from the client when creating a plan of care, as clients have better outcomes when they take part in the process. Harmonize the client’s independence goals with their needs to manage illness and prevent complications. Recognize the client’s fears related to their health but help them get involved in their care. Utilizing technologies like home health software, telehealth tools when applicable, and other home care innovations can simplify homecare dynamics that may have proven challenging in the past.  One of the goals of Healthy People 2030 includes improving the health and well-being of older adults through the use of evidence-based interventions. Adopt resources, policies and programs in the agency that support this mission. Share the agency’s alignment with national goals for elderly health with current or potential clients on specific ways to improve health to demonstrate the company’s commitment to better older adult health.

Share the facts. As people age, it is natural to have more underlying medical diagnoses. The elderly often have complex medical histories which often include obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer among others. Unplanned hospitalizations increase among older adults with multiple medical conditions. Supporting and monitoring common chronic illnesses can reduce unplanned hospitalizations and complications. Give specific details on how your agency is specialized to help them stay out of overcrowded emergency rooms and avoid unplanned, expensive hospitalizations.

Elderly falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in this population. This risk increases with hearing loss, dementia, and chronic illness affecting the musculoskeletal system (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, mobility impairments because of a stroke). Older adults may also experience a fear of falling and becoming isolated, leading to complications such as depression, pneumonia, skin breakdown, and breakdown of muscle, all further increasing the need for care. Ensure elderly clients understand modifications to their home (assistive devices, lifts, removal of throw rugs) and an increase in physical activity through support with a range of motion exercises or physical therapy increase their goal to age in place.

The overall theme is independence through partnership. Data-driven decisions are important for compliance and cooperation. The facts leading to loss of independence in older adults can be shared tactfully yet should not be used as a scare tactic to recruit clients. Focusing on how the agency can best approach the subject of aging in place successfully through the use of evidence-based communication methods can set up an agency to best serve the baby boomers in their homes.


Gerontological Society of America


Other blogs you might find helpful:


  1. Six keys to solving staffing issues in homecare agencies
  2. Boosting job satisfaction to retain home health nurses
  3. Home care agency work/life balance tips for clinicians
  4. Top strategies for developing strong homecare teams

Alora provides agencies a complete solution for home health agency workflow. We work with industry professionals and our agency partners to incorporate the latest homecare technologies, offering our customers a strong EHR for home health where everything you need is in one complete system. Alora’s worry free workflow is ideal for caring for patients of all ages and walks of life. Put simply, Alora helps agencies thrive in delivering home health care.

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