Glen Rose is taking steps to become an official "certified retirement community" and the timing couldn't be better.
The ballyhooed Baby Boomers — the more than 76 million children born in the United States after World War II and up until 1964 — have become the most influential generation economically and sociologically. Now, starting this month, Baby Boomers will become Senior Boomers.
Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, who sang about "what a drag it is getting old," and the Beatles, who wondered "will she need me, will she still please me when I'm 64?" now have joined the ranks of seniors (Jagger is 67 and the Beatles' Paul McCartney is 68).
Starting this month, about 10,000 Boomers will turn 65 every day for the next 18 years, the U.S. Census bureau estimates. That phenomenon is expected to trigger a fundamental population shift.
"Experts predict this mass aging trend to significantly affect economic and social dynamics for decades to come, providing both major challenges for families and big opportunities for businesses in the senior care industry," predicts Senior Helpers, a leading national in-home senior care provider.
It also provides major opportunities for towns like Glen Rose.
The city government is preparing to apply to become a certified retirement community under the Texas Department of Agriculture's program. It would cost Glen Rose $5,000 for five years to be included in the list of xx Texas communities that have certified status.
Last week the Glen Rose 4B Tax Advisory Board, also known as the Glen Rose Economic Development Corp., held a public hearing to hear citizen input. Two people, realtor Ymke Condy and real estate investor Jim Burkhart, both spoke in favor of the city's vying to become a certified retirement community.
Amy Lorance of the Texas Department of Agriculture last month spoke to the Glen Rose City Council and told members that retirees are major contributors to local economies and that a retired couple creates an economic impact that's equivalent to 3.7 manufacturing jobs. Retirees also tend to become involved in their communities and are looking for opportunities to volunteer, Lorance added.
Among the cities in the program are Clifton, Winnsboro, Mineola, Harlingen, Big Spring and Paducah.
Joining it would give Glen Rose access to state marketing campaigns to attract retirees, inclusion in print advertising and at exhibit booths at major trade shows and expositions such as one sponsored by the AARP and a presence on the state’s “Retire in Texas” Web site, as well as on its Facebook site.
“This gives you a whole new market,” Lorance said, allowing the Glen Rose story to be told to retirees residing outside a 90-mile radius and those living out of state.
Retirees, in turn, attract friends and family members as well when they choose a place to retire, Lorance added.
Cities that have joined the program have reported increased requests for relocation packets and have attracted new businesses such as residential developments, assisted living facilities, healthcare facilities and adult day care centers.
“The demand for trained caregivers to shoulder some of the burden of caring for aging loved ones is already the highest it has ever been,” said Peter Ross, founder and CEO of Senior Helpers, a leading national in-home senior care provider. “Lots of families simply don’t have the time, ability or training to provide the kind of care elderly individuals often require on their own.“We’re adding caregivers across the country every day and over the next several years as the Boomers continue to age,” Ross added. “We’re going to see unprecedented growth across the industry to help families handle this overwhelming responsibility.”
There are currentlyabout million seniors in the United States. Seniors already account for percent the population. As Boomers age over the two decades, there will be more than million seniorsin the United States, meaning that seniors will account for more than percentof the population 2030. that point, one in every five be a senior, growing older and living longer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the continuing rise in life expectancy seen throughout the 20th century is due to a number of medical and public health achievements — more prevalent vaccinations against diseases, improved work place safety, improvements in highway safety and the declining mortality rate from traditionally life-threatening diseases.
“People today are simply living longer than previous generations, and the longer seniors live, the more likely it is that they will need some help to stay independent,” Ross said. “When this happens, it’s often difficult for families to deal with on their own, which is why senior care businesses will continue to grow as a vital resource for families who just can’t do it all themselves.”