Archive for the ‘Seniors’ Category

Baby Boomers: Are We Really That Old?

Despite Baby Boomer’s pursuit to stay forever young, time marches on. When you look into the mirror, who do you see? The kid in your yearbook….or an eerie reflection of your parents? This presentation shares photos of celebrities – past and present – who were famous during Baby Boomer’s youth and young adult years. A few aged well. For others – let’s say a few wrinkles, gray hairs, and extra pounds make them look … “old.”

To enlarge the view to full screen, click on the “menu” icon, then full screen.

Are there any photos that surprise you?

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81 Percent Of Kids Have “Digital Footprint”; Boomers Delay Retirement

This Week’s Top Stories from the Geeks, Geezers, and Googlization Grapevine

Geeks

Working in a call center does not seem to be the Millennial’s generation cup of tea. According to a survey released by Sodexo Motivation Solutions, only 5 percent of the respondents regard working in a call center as exciting. More troubling for call center management is that only 55 percent consider call center work negatively. And the nail in the coffin is that one in three of those surveyed who are currently seeking work would rather claim unemployment benefits than work in a call center.

Geezers

Some 40 percent of U.S. workers say they’re going to have to delay retirement because they can’t afford to stop working, according to a survey released this week by consultants Towers Watson. The biggest reasons cited were the losses suffered in their retirement savings and the need to maintain company-sponsored health care coverage.

Googlization

They may not know how to use a computer yet, but a recent poll revealed that some children as young as six months already have an online presence, including their own email address. Antivirus maker AVG conducted a poll of mothers with children under two years old to see when they began uploading pictures of their kids to the web. According to the survey, the average age children acquire an online presence is six months, with more than 70 percent of mothers posting baby and toddler pictures online and sharing them through social networking sites. By the time they are two, 81 percent of kids have what AVG CEO J.R. Smith called a “digital footprint.” Other findings include:

  • 33 percent of children have had pictures posted online from birth.
  • 23 percent of parents uploaded their child’s pre-birth scan to the Internet.
  • 7 percent of babies even have an email address set up by their parents at birth.
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You Know You’re Growing Older When…

While searching for a file on an old hard drive, I came across this list of 25 ways to know you getting older.  I saved this list over 10 years ago. As a 40-something Baby Boomer at the time, I had no idea how accurate it would be!  But as an almost 60 year old Boomer, the list is painfully true.  Fortunately it’s also a tremendous source of smiles, if not outright laughter.  Here goes:

  1. Everything hurts and what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work.
  2. The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your bifocals.
  3. You feel like the morning after, and you haven’t been anywhere.
  4. Your address book (or contacts) contains only names ending in M.D.
  5. You get winded playing chess.
  6. Your children begin to look middle aged.
  7. You decide to procrastinate but then never get around to it.
  8. Your mind makes contracts your body can’t meet.
  9. A dripping faucet causes an uncontrollable bladder urge.
  10. You know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions.
  11. You look forward to a dull evening.
  12. You walk with your head held high trying to get use to your bifocals.
  13. Your favorite part of the newspaper is “25 Years Ago Today.”
  14. You turn out the light for economic rather than romantic reasons.
  15. You sit in a rocking chair and can’t make it go.
  16. Your knees buckle and your belt won’t.
  17. After painting the town red, you have to take a long rest before applying a second coat.
  18. You’re startled the first time you are addressed as “Old Timer”.
  19. You remember today that yesterday was your wedding anniversary.
  20. You just can’t stand people who are intolerant.
  21. You burn the midnight oil after 9 PM.
  22. Your back goes out more than you do.
  23. The little gray haired lady you helped across the street is your wife.
  24. You have too much room in the house and not enough in the medicine cabinet.
  25. Your sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there.

Bette Davis once said, “Old age is not for sissies.” Ain’t it the truth?

Do you have any experiences that are missing from this list?  Please share them with us aging Baby Boomers!

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Older Adults Join Facebook Frenzy

The hottest growth segment on Facebook and other online social networking sites is guys like Richard and Ray and their lady friends.  No, Richard and Ray aren’t two college kids enjoying the party life.

Richard and Ray are what most people might call “geezers.”  In fact, these two gentlemen are members of a special group of the elderly population.  They belong to the “oldest old” group – Americans who are at least 85 years of age.

Seniors-using-computer_000009129801

And that’s what makes this story so interesting. Richard Bosack, age 89, joined Facebook recently, after his buddy Ray Urbans, age 96, recommended the ubiquitous social networking site a few days earlier. (And I’m still trying to get quite a few 50- and 60-something neighbors to check their emails regularly!)

The two older men might be viewed as exceptions in a space that is considered the proprietary realm of teens, young adults, and moms.  But Grandma and Grandpa are joining Facebook and other social networking sites in record numbers.  As the Pew Research Center recently described this trend, Grampy and Grammy are getting down with “the Face.”

Social networking use among Internet users 65 and older grew by a staggering 100 percent in the last year, a recent Pew Research Center survey reports. In 2009, social networking use by folks 65 and older stood at 13 percent. This year, 26 percent of people in that age group who are using the Internet also are delving into Facebook and other social networking sites. Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010.And it’s not only social networking sites that are attracting seniors. Looking at adults ages 65 and older who have high-speed internet connections at home, 72% say they use the internet on a typical day. That compares with 77% of broadband users ages 50-64, 84% of those ages 30-49 and 86% of those ages 18-29.

AARP says the top four online activities for people over 60 are Google, Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube.

Tammy Gordon, AARP’s senior adviser for social communications, says a quarter of the organization’s members are using Facebook, and the number is rising quickly. Nearly 19 million people ages 55 and over used Facebook in July, up from about 9 million one year ago, according to comScore.

“Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” explains Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report.

What does the 60 and older crowd find so appealing in social networking?

1. Older Social networking users are much more likely to reconnect with people from their past, and these renewed connections can provide a powerful support network when people near retirement or embark on a new career.

2. The appeal of social networking for older Americans may also be related to managing health issues. Older adults are more likely to be living with a chronic disease , and those living with these diseases are more likely to reach out for support online. Having a chronic disease significantly increases an internet user’s likelihood to say they work on a blog or contribute to an online discussion, a listserv, or other forum that helps people with personal issues or health problems.
3. Most older adults have been introduced to social networking by their children. Social media bridges generational gaps. While the results can sometimes be messy, these social spaces pool together users from very different parts of people’s lives and provide the opportunity to share skills across generational divides. This has the potential for strengthening family ties and work relationship across generations.

One idea circulating around is to support a “National Digital Literacy Corps” that trains volunteers to teach digital skills to those who are least connected in their communities—including pairing tech-savvy digital natives with seniors. With 86% of internet users ages 18-29 using social networking sites and 60% doing so on a typical day, it is not hard to imagine that some of these young mentors would be eager to share their skills in profile management with older users.

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Surge in Seniors Strains Economy and Caregivers

Republicans thought people could save for it. Democrats thought government could provide it. Both are wrong. Caring for an aging population is beginning to strain our economy and stress out a rising legion of caregivers.

Political parties have taken turns over the past 50 years controlling government and they have both failed to solve the problem. Now we are stuck in neutral and rolling backwards.

By 2020, forty-three states will see an increase of over 70 percent in their 65 and over population compared with just 20 years earlier. And 29 states will see an increase of 70 percent in their 85 and over population during the same period. In fact, only 1 state, Arkansas, will see an increase of less than 50 percent in both the 65- and 85 and older demographics.

This is an amazing success story in longevity, but a problem that the government, our friends and neighbors, and the economy is unprepared to absorb.

First of all, nearly all retirement and health care projections are based on a working population capable of supporting older residents. Unfortunately the percentage of working age adults is decreasing. In 2010, 60 percent of the U.S. is aged 20-64. By 2030, the proportion of these working ages will drop to 55 percent. The age dependency ratio, the proportion of seniors to workers, will almost double over the next 20 years — from 21 per 100 workers to 39.

This “silver tsunami” is also creating a legion of people caring for adults and the elderly. Twenty-nine percent of the U.S. adult population, or 65.7 million people, are caregivers, including 31 percent of all households. These caregivers provide an average of 20 hours of care per week.

American caregivers are predominantly female (66%) and are an average of 48 years old. That puts working Baby Boomers in their prime working years balancing a career with caring for aging parents and raising their own children. The sandwich generation, as this group had been called, often reduces the number of hours they work. An even greater number continues to work but loses focus and becomes more stressed. For employers this translates to lower productivity, more accidents and mistakes, and the loss of talent.

As the aging tsunami breaks on the shores of our economy, new challenges will alter the workplace landscape. Political parties are clearly divided on how to fix the problems. Solutions will come from individuals and local communities. Employers that recognize opportunity in this sea of change will reap the benefits as our workforce and nation grows older.

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