It’s no secret that millennials and Gen Z have varying points of view from boomers. Marriage, home buying and even skincare are all looked at differently by the younger gens. However, when it comes to healthcare, boomers seem to have the advantage thanks to two tried-and-true practices. Find out the two boomer habits millennials and Gen Z should get into for better healthcare below.
What Are Boomers Doing That's Getting Them Better Care?
1. They are more likely to have a primary care physician.
A study conducted by MDVIP found that women across all generations admit having a primary care physician is essential to better healthcare. However, a 2020 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that 45 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds had no primary-care provider, compared to 18 percent of those 50 to 64 and 12 percent age 65 and older. This is especially problematic when you consider the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women—more deadly than any type of cancer, according to MDVIP. A primary care physician will screen for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can indicate larger issues developing in your body. Getting acquainted with a primary care physician who has a complete understanding of your medical history can help catch diseases early and allow you to take preventive measures.
“Fifty years ago, there wasn’t a lot of pathology in that [younger] age group, but now we’re diagnosing kids under 10 with diabetes and hypertension,” explained Andrea Klemes, Chief Medical Officer of MDVIP. “Twenty- to 34-year-olds should definitely be getting their blood pressure and cholesterol checked.”
MDVIP also found a huge gap in how boomers interacted with the medical system in general. Among other discrepancies, their comprehensive Women’s Health IQ Quiz found that women 20 to 34 said scheduling an appointment can be a chore, compared to 32 percent of women 55 and older. Fifty-five percent of millennials and Gen Z-ers also admitted they delayed seeing a doctor due to time constraints, compared to 13 percent of boomers.
2. Boomers are more likely to fully open up to their doctors.
If they do make it into the doctor’s office, millennials are more withholding when it comes to discussing their health issues. MDVIP revealed that boomers were more open than millennials to talking about issues like alcohol and incontinence. “I think [the Boomer generation] is more used to going to the physician and telling them about our issues,” explained Klemes. “Maybe because we had physicians who had time for us when we were younger and that sort of carried through our lives.”
So, What Are Millennials and Gen Z Getting Right?
The silver lining? Younger generations tend to be more proactive about mental health. The study showed that 78 percent of millennials and Gen Z-ers are worried about their mental health compared to 39 percent of boomers. In fact, mental health was the top concern among the younger generations, beating out COVID, cancer and heart disease.
“Millennials felt COVID more than other generations and they’re open to getting help,” said Klemes. “But I think to be able to get that help, it’s better to determine what’s looming as opposed to just finding a therapist online. Not all depression is mental health-related, for example. There are medical conditions that can cause depression and need to be treated by a physician.” OK, millennials and Gen Z, it’s time to think like a boomer: Pick up the phone (or, make an online appointment) and team up with a doctor you trust.