Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Suffering? Getting old? The pharmaceutical industry wants to help. Every night on TV, photogenic actors frolic with photogenic grandchildren, or lounge in bathtubs gazing into the setting sun, telling emotion-laden tales of 30-second Madison Avenue cures: E.D.? Low T? R.A.? COPD? Dry eye? Sneezy? Wheezy? Queasy? There’s a drug for that.
And all the consumer needs to do – all together, now – is “Talk to your doctor.”
But there are a few things the ads don’t mention: Low-cost alternatives to the high-cost drugs featured in the ads. Lifestyle changes that could make drugs unnecessary. Damaging side effects that may not be discovered until a drug has been on the market for a while.
Less obvious is the fact that when consumers do show up to talk to their doctors, the drug industry got there first. Read more. John Webster, SR
My 82-year-old mother takes a bewlidering number of medications. It really concerns me. I don't take any regular medication— not even vitamin suppliements.
Do you take prescribed meds? Why or why not?
My Boomer U story today was about newlyweds Theresa and Joe Phillips who married July 20. She was 68. He was 81. Neither expected to marry again.
But they fell madly in love a few years ago and tied the knot.
No one knows how boomers will couple and uncouple in the next two decades or so. See possible ways. But experts agree the dating landscape for aging boomers will be much different than the dating landscape for our parents' generation, when women outlived the men by huge margins, so there weren't a lot of available men once you hit your 60s and beyond.
The dating and remarriage market for aging boomers is “thicker” in the wonderful word used by Stephanie Coontz, one of my favorite women-and-family-issues researchers.
(S-R photo courtesy of Theresa Phillips)
When he or she says “It's like when Charlie Brown balked in the winning run,” that means the screw-up in question should never have happened.
And if your boss had advocated naming the royal baby “Rocky Raccoon,” well, if you don't know that, maybe you should just go back to bed.
In my Boomer U story today, I looked at coming trends in boomer travel.
European river cruises are hot, as is taking trips with many generations in tow.
One boomer I interviewed for the story, Susan Snelson Spiegel, is an uber traveler and always has been. And she has combined travel with volunteering on many occasions.
What kind of travel will you do in your 50s, 60s and beyond?
I picture myself, in my 80s, on those bus tours seeing the United States in a new way.
Happy Memorial Day!
(Photo courtesy of Susan Snelson Spiegel)
If they were about 13, baby boomer boys who watched “I Dream of Jeannie” knew exactly what their first wish would be.
Almost 40 years ago, in one of its biggest hits, Fleetwood Mac sang: “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow. … Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone.” Today, fans of the band – which hasn’t released any new music in the past decade – are still happily looking backward. Tickets for the June 29 show at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena are selling much faster than when the ’70s supergroup last came to town in 2004, said Matt Gibson, the arena’s general manager. “It’s going to be sold out,” Gibson said. “Part of it is, you don’t know if this band is going to be back, ever.” While its creators creep past retirement age, the music the baby boom generation grew up with keeps on trucking/Rick Bonino, SR. More here.
Question: Does every generation continue to rock out to its music? Or is there something different re: the Baby Boomers' connection to their music?
A Slice reader wrote to say he has nothing against baby boomers. But he added, “My generation (say about 1930-1945) has become the anonymous generation.”
My husband once told me, years ago, that I would likely have a newspaper job to the grave, if I tracked the baby boomers to the grave.
That's not the reason I'm happy to be a big part of Boomer U, our new Monday Today section, but he had a point.
Connie and Scott Brunell were living the early-retirement dream shared by many baby boomers once upon a time. They left telephone company jobs in the Seattle area to work for an oil company in Saudi Arabia. They stayed 12 years, making and saving good money. Connie (shown in Colin Mulvany SR photo) retired in 1996 at 45. Scott retired a year later at 51. They kept busy. They remodeled their home outside Spangle. Connie spent time showing dogs, her hobby and passion. The couple traveled and volunteered. In 2009, after two snowy winters, both felt trapped at home. So they returned to work. Scott, 66, works for the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department. Connie, 61, works for Staff Pro, the company that provides event employees for the Spokane Public Facilities District. The Brunells, who work part time, are part of an aging baby boomer labor trend predicted to accelerate in the near future as boomers stay in the workforce past retirement age. This trend could help rev the economy and ease worries about Social Security solvency/Rebecca Nappi, SR. More here.
Question: Do you plan to work beyond retirement age?
I read recently that baby boomers now fear memory loss more than cancer, heart disease or stroke. Now what was I going to say about that …? Oh well. Anyway, it seems odd we boomers would fear memory loss more than dread disease. Dread disease involves misery and pain, which is not fun and can often lead to death, which is also not fun. Memory loss - what's the big deal with that? So you forget the names of your children, your bank account password, where you set down your coffee cup just two seconds ago. Most of my friends and I have been dealing with that our entire adult lives and we've learned to cope by now. Maybe what we really fear about memory loss is looking stupid in public, which can happen whenever you run into someone you've known for a long time and yet could not recall their name if someone was holding a gun to your head/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you have trouble remembering friends from days gone by when you encounter them unexpectedly?
On her End Notes blog, SR colleague Rebecca Nappi writes: “Please help us come up with a name that best describes how baby boomers will age. They won't do it the same as parents and grandparents. My story today explained how most boomers will likely work into their 70s and 80s, plunge into “encore careers” and not be as broke, in pocketbook or body, as feared. So help us rename this group. They won't like elderly or senior citizen, believe me. Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Yesterday, news of Davy Jones’ death lit up Facebook, Twitter and online news sites with frantic reports. Baby Boomers shared nostalgic remembrances of their childhood worship of the Monkees and circulated YouTube clips of Jones’ songs. Less talked about was how he died: a massive heart attack, according to today’s autopsy results. If you’re in your 40s, 50s, or 60s, the news of how Jones died might also have given you pause. A heart attack at 66? How likely is that? Could it happen to me?/Melanie Haiken, Forbes. More here. (2001 AP file photo of Davy Jones)
Question: Has the death of Monkee lead singer Davy Jones at age 66 of a heart attack Thursday made you think about your own heart health?
People ask me, “Paul, why were so many baby boomers clueless for so long when it came to affairs of the heart?”
That's easy. It all goes back to 1963 and Lesley Gore's hit story-songs, “It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)” and “Judy's Turn to Cry.”
These were peppy Top 40 tunes that offered seriously misguided life lessons.
In the first song, we hear Lesley sing:
“Nobody knows where my Johnny has gone.
“Judy left the same time.
“Why was he holding her hand,
“When he's supposed to be mine?”
This sends the clear message that it's OK for girls to be utter dopes. Why else would the song's narrator be so slow to pick up on the fact she has been bagged and dropped off at Dump City?
When the newly minted couple return to the party, this chick Judy is wearing Johnny's ring. And yet the singer inexplicably voices surprise.
Hello? Who didn't see that coming? And why couldn't the ditsy storyteller recognize that our man Johnny simply was not the most emotionally reliable cat in town?
It gets worse, of course.
Let's review a few lines from the follow-up, “Judy's Turn to Cry.”
“Oh, one night I saw them kissin' at a party,
“So I kissed some other guy.
“Johnny jumped up and he hit him,
“'Cause he still loved me, that's why.”
Lesley, Lesley, Lesley. That's your idea of love? Girl, you had better wise up.
Can you imagine the signal that sent to impressionable baby boomer youth?
1. Brainless babe fails to realize her boyfriend is a two-timing loser until evidence is presented to her on a platter.
2. Brainless babe decides to make her knuckledragger ex jealous.
3. Knuckledragger ex resorts to violence against some innocent dupe.
4. Brainless babe is thrilled and feeling flush with feminine conquest pride, even though her loser boyfriend clearly is motivated by a macho notion of property rights and not some romantic impulse.
5. Brainless babe, no big booster of sisterhood, takes devilish pleasure in the emotional injury to the aforementioned Judy.
6. Millions of kids spend decades unlearning these lessons.
7. Marriage counselors take a lot of trips to Hawaii.
This later record helped start the healing.
There are plenty of reasons I admire women my own age.
They have faced dizzying twists and turns in what society expects of them. They have had to cope with an often confused generation of men. And they can be counted on to know what a good song sounds like.
But there's another reason they have my respect.
When they were girls, these women played jacks. And the game pieces they used were not made of safe rubber or plastic. No, they played with cold, skin-piercing pointed metal.
This was an angry toy.
A girl who fell on those babies came up adorned with imbedded jacks. It happened.
I'm not saying that was as bad as getting hit by shrapnel. But any boy who ever saw a girl pluck a couple of those nasty little stingers out of her tender, fawn-like flesh intuitively realized he was seeing in action a gender not to be taken lightly.
If blindfolded, could you identify the smell of these? Of course, you could.
Are most of them in landfills now? Must number in the millions.
Sort of a sad end after all those years of service.
You know, crossing guards.
I was proud to wear the colors in sixth grade. The few, the proud. We were drunk with power.
“Hey, kid. Wait for my signal! Don't make me report you.”
But unlike the school where this photo was taken, our unit was males-only. It would be years before girls were deemed ready for front-line positions. And then, of course, the whole thing got turned over to adults.
A higher percentage of baby boomers are obese than in any other group in the USA, a poll carried out by LifeGoesStrong has revealed. Findings revealed that while approximately 36% of baby boomers are obese, the figure for the two generations directly above and below them is about 25%. A baby boomer is somebody born during a baby boom, which in this text refers to US citizens born between 1946 and about 1965/Medical News Today. More here.
Question: Why are so many Baby Boomers obese?
Good morning, Netizens…
Several things leaped out at me from this morning's David Horsey cartoon about the aging of the Baby Boomers. I was a predecessor of the Baby Boomers, since I had nearly a year of age on top of most Boomers, and a world of experience beneath my belt.
I never wore bell-bottoms or granny glasses. Even back then my ample backside didn't fit with the latest fashion trends, so I stuck with plain blue jeans suitably adorned with a big belt buckle from one of my favorite truck stops. Even worse, back then I wore thick glasses, coke bottles I believe I called them, just barely legal to get my commercial driver's license. Later on in life, I had eye surgery which, while it corrected my cataracts, also altered my eyesight to 20-20 without need for those glasses anymore. It changed my life forever.
My hair was a little longer then, but one has only to realize I have a hell of a lot less hair now than then.
Most predominantly, however, I never felt comfortable using such words or phrases of that era such as “far out” or “groovy” simply because they didn't fit in comfortably with my educational background. Today using either phrase truly dates the speaker, as both have fallen out of contemporary use, thank god.
In short, I never truly fit in with the “in crowd” of the 60's. I had just enough hair to not appear like a redneck, enough facial hair to allow me to pass for one of the “chosen ones” and during the summer months, I always had a job, and even other times I was always looking for work despite being a full-time student and a long-haul truck driver.
When I look back on the 60's and 70's in the mirror, all my mistakes, perceived and otherwise, stand out tall. Of all the musicians and songwriters of that era, hundreds stand out tall in my memory's horde for I always had the itch to hear new music. However, a song that has stood the test of time, written by the incomparable Tom Paxton, probably states it all when it comes to that era of my life.
“I could have done it better, I didn't mean to be unkind, you know that was the last thing on my mind.”
Facebook Friend Darrell Kerby of Bonners Ferry notes that he will turn 60 this year and his older brother turned 65 last year. Darrell figures he has about 20 years left of life more or less, adding: “It is time to savor, relax, & enjoy. What should we savor, how should we relax and what should we enjoy? We now have the “freedom” to savor everything. These last few morsels of life will be best consumed by savoring, we no longer need to wait or work for it, it's here!” Darrell goes on to ask:
Question: What should we enjoy? What is not to enjoy?
The first baby boomers are turning 65 in 2011 and they may just change the world for older citizens. Front to back are Martha Chadwick, Dick Warwick, Loni Daly and Ed Clark.
The first baby boomers will turn 65 on Saturday. Every day, for the next 19 years, about 10,000 boomers “will cross that threshold,” as the Pew Research Center puts it.
On Jan. 1, 1959, these same first boomers turned 13. No one back then predicted the myriad ways they would revolutionize youth culture. These boomer teens eventually redefined style, trading crew cuts and skirts for long hair and bellbottoms. Rock ’n’ roll became their anthem. Drugs, their escape. And free love? Groovy, man. They took to the streets in their later teens, protesting the Vietnam War and other causes that limited their freedoms, such as curfews in college dorms.
Will these first among the 79 million boomer senior citizens begin an older age revolution? Likely, the experts say. Rebecca Nappi/SR
What do you think this means for our culture's view of aging?