The Baby Boomer Generation: trends, research, comment and discussion of the generation from 1946 - 1964. Includes bulletin boards, Sixties and Seventies music, culture, health and coverage of issues for Boomers
   

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The Baby Boomer Homepage is your source for trends, research, comment and discussion of the generation from 1946 - 1964. Includes bulletin boards, chat, Sixties and Seventies music, culture, health and coverage of issues for Boomers  
The Baby Boomer Generation is a source for trends, research, comment and discussion of and by people born from 1946 - 1964. Covering issues on the Boomer Generation including original content for Boomers, bulletin boards, user comments, Sixties and Seventies music, Baby Boomer culture, health and coverage of issues for "Aging Hipsters."
December 8, 2012

Boomers Blowin' Smoke

rollingajoint.jpgIf this article on HuffPo is to be believed, we Boomers should probably not be smoking pot. First of all, it actually is stronger than in our day--about 10% THC, compared to 2-3% in the 60's.

Also, our aging bodies may have a bunch of ailments, for which pot is not a benefit, such as high blood pressure and cardiac issues. As our medicine chests fill with pills for this and that, pot may also be contraindicated with other medications. Apparently that hasn't stopped us: marijuana use in adults has been increasing steadily.

Who can blame us? Ravaged retirement benefits, unemployment, aging symptoms, life in general--sometimes we just need a little recreational relief. Of course, pot also has proven benefits in cancer treatment and other illnesses.

Are you still toking? Or lighting up again after a few decades of responsible adulthood?




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August 28, 2012

Sex Over 50

Why you're not having sex:
According to HuffPo, there are specific reasons baby boomers aren't having sex. Although one has to ask, who says boomers aren't having sex?




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August 1, 2012

Baby Boomers Without Wills; Planning on Living Forever?

According to a recent report, 41% of baby boomers do not have a will.

Do you really want the state to decide who gets what? Talk to your lawyer, folks.




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July 17, 2012

Boomers Should Test for Hepatitis-C

Just when you thought your health to-do list was long enough, here's another alert for Baby Boomers. Get yourself tested for Hep-C. According to the CDC, boomers are 5 times more likely to have Hepatitis-C than other age groups. Learn more about boomers and Hep-C here.




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July 6, 2012

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

sexover50.jpgMidlife sex is a whole lot better than the perceptions out there. A young lady we know once said that sex over 30 was disgusting (she was 16). Well, we're here to tell her that sex over 50 can be better than ever. See what this article in ZoomerMag has to say.




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August 10, 2010

Predicting Alzheimer's: In Time for Baby Boomers?

If, like me, you tend to worry neurotically about the perils of old-age, especially Alzheimer's Disease, the news about new early testing for Alzheimer's will either cheer you or terrify you. Spinal tap testing and PET scans are not yet available to the public, but it would be nice for Baby Boomers if they'd hurry up.




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June 23, 2010

Boomer Women--Too Late for Estrogen?

Just when I thought I was ready to break down and try hormone replacement therapy, I read this article in the NY Times Magazine. It seems that, with the exception of boomer women on the younger edge of the continuum, many of us are already too old to use estrogen to smooth out the menopausal and post-menopausal crazies. Cynthia Gorney explains the 'timing hypothesis' of estrogen's benefits and risks. Bummer.




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February 27, 2010

Boomers Are Passing the Dutchie Again

The kids are gone, pass the joint. Recent studies indicate that baby boomers support legalizing marijuana in greater percentages than younger cohorts, especially more than the 30-40's--the generation most likely to be in the midst of family building and child-rearing. In the past year or so, pot use among those 55-59 tripled to about 5%. A whopping 72% of AARP members support medical marijuana, possibly because we have a pretty clear first-hand understanding of the benefits.

Many who stopped smoking pot while raising children and advancing careers now have returned to pot to "soften the pains of aging" as the article points out. And many of us would rather turn to marijuana than to pharmaceuticals. This applies to non-medical drug use as well. Boomers are more likely to indulge in pot than pharmaceuticals for recreational use.

So, empty nesters, if you put off pot during the family-raising years, you won't be alone should you decide to light up once again. Let's just hope these arthritic old fingers can remember how to roll a joint.




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July 20, 2009

Medicare to Boomers: Drop Dead

As we watch carefully to see what, if any, healthcare makeovers are on the horizon, there is one disturbing detail that will affect boomers. Many doctors, both internists and specialists, are opting-out of Medicare, citing low reimbursements and the paperwork hassle. This could leave many of us with alternatives that are either more expensive, more restricted or both.

An article this past spring in the New York Times, does a good job of covering the issue and some alternatives, including walk-in urgent care centers and concierge doctors. Whatever the choice, boomers stand to lose in this equation.




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July 12, 2009

Old Sex or, Love Among the Ruins

Those under 30, please cover your eyes. We're about to reveal that old people have sex. Ewwww. According to an article this spring in The Baltimore Sun:

The merits of staying sexually active through the years are obvious and plentiful: joy and excitement, connectedness, and a host of health benefits. Scientists have shown that having sex regularly boosts the immune system and releases hormones that lower stress levels, improve sleep, and might even hold off wrinkles: A Scottish study found that people who enjoy sex every other day looked about seven to 12 years younger than their peers, on average.

Man, if that isn't enough inducement to have sex, you just don't have a pulse.

The article cites studies from the British Medical Journal and the University of Chicago among others, examining the willingness, ability and little helpers that characterize sex among those of us of a certain age.




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February 9, 2009

When I'm 64: Boomer Maintenance

Lately whenever I look in the mirror or get dressed I think about 3 thing-- looks, money and old age. Remember when you'd run a comb through your hair, dash some lipstick on and you were done? It seems like every year adds another series of maintenance tasks. Now it takes me half an hour just to get to the baseline.

Do you suppose Medicare will include a provision for hair and body maintenance or will those of us unlucky enough to be poor have to look like an Aesop witch with one long hair growing precisely out of the middle of our chins?

Who will do for us when we can't do for ourselves? Without getting into the realm of Too Much Information, think about daily, weekly and monthly maintenance tasks: --shaving, plucking, filing, coloring, bleaching, moisturizing, masking, pumicing, blow-drying -- various body parts. What happens when we can't reach our toenails? Do they grow into curving yellow claws? Can you think of someone who'll take care of them...for free? Maybe some of you lucky enough to have willing & able daughters or...who?

Do we really want to be at the mercy of overly-busy nursing home attendants or a kindly student intern at the senior center? Or maybe we need to make sacred pacts with our closest friends: I'll do that (too-personal-to-mention) task for you if you'll do it for me. Instead of saving for a dream vacation home or a spiffy car, we should be putting money away for a personal assistant, and not a digital one.

But then I read John Mortimer's obituary in the NY TImes and it quoted his bookThe Summer of a Dormouse: A Year of Growing Old Disgracefully and this really struck me:
"The aging process is not gradual or gentle. It rushes up, pushes you over and runs off laughing. No one should grow old who isn't ready to appear ridiculous."

Which leads me to another way of thinking about this----maybe we just won't give a crap: "Hey, I have a moustache--live with it."

What do you think?




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December 11, 2008

Boomers Needed for Survey

We've been asked to post the following request to fellow boomers:

I am a doctoral student in communication at the University of Alabama currently working on my dissertation project. The project is based on the baby boomer demographic and how siblings in this age range communicatively negotiate a family health crisis. I feel confident that health crises are a concern for baby boomers. Ultimately, I am interested in finding out if baby boomer siblings rely on each other in a crisis of this type, or if they turn to significant others or friends for social support.

Click Here to take survey




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April 18, 2008

The Sound of Money

What? A hearing aid that's invisible, works better than conventional models and can be worn for months at a time.

Wait, did you say $3000 PER YEAR???

According to the New York Times, the Lyric hearing aids are placed very close to the eardrum creating a more natural sound, and because they are so small, the batteries only need to be replaced once every four months. But there's a catch. You don't buy them. You subscribe to them - for $2900 - $3600 per year.

It simply had to happen - aging Baby Boomers trying to hold on to youth for as long as possible will have a myriad of products designed to prop up their sagging systems - as long as you can afford it.

And because we have such great healthcare in this country - most insurance companies won't pay for Lyric - or any other hearing device. Sigh.

Well, they won't pay for glasses either, but at least I can hold on to my old specs and learn sign language.




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January 6, 2008

Boomer Vision--Sharp as it Ever Was?

I wear glasses with transition lenses these days--three sections--distance, mid-distance, and close-up. The distance part works as well as can be expected, the middle-distance part works depending on what you consider 'middle,' but the close-up is marginally better than blindness. How often do you see boomers hitching their glasses up to their foreheads to read a map, a label, the newspaper?

Apparently there's a new procedure available called "CK" - conductive keratoplasty--which may be able to correct changes to our aging eyes. While it is supposed to correct far-sightedness, it may not be you for if you're also nearsighted. It sure would be nice though, not to have to carry a miner's light and a magnifying glass every time you want to read the menu.




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September 23, 2007

Invest Wisely Baby Boomers - We're Next

We've seen this before - a private investment firm snaps up a struggling company, raids the pension fund, reduces quality/service/equity and fires workers. Then sells it off piece by piece making a tidy profit on the transaction. It seems now that private equity firms - with nursing facilities - have found a way to reverse the process and still make a tidy profit. Instead of buying one struggling company, they've set their sites on a whole industry, and instead of breaking it up, have consolidated several small nursing facilities into giants - and found other ways to reduce quality/service/equity, fire workers (namely health care professionals like RN's) and make a tidy profit.

According to this New York times article, private equity firms like The Carlyle Group (who own Dunkin' Donuts and who just agreed to sell a $1.35 billion 7.5% stake to Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi government's investment arm) are creating such a complicated shell game of companies, that lawyers can't even find someone to sue when grandma dies from neglect. In many cases, the staffing at facilities owned by these investment firms is below legal minimums -essentially thumbing their noses at the law.

The end result of equity firm investment is usually an inferior product, massive layoffs and bankruptcy (read about the recent private equity investment in Chrysler). By the time the market reacts with its wallet by shunning shoddy products, the equity firm is long gone - having made profits all along the way. But in this case, the "product" is your aging mother, and the result is lost lives.

Private equity firms are "banking" on the fact that they can hide behind a corporate structure so complicated that in the short term, they can outrun the law. And what it looks like now is just more of the same - buy an industry, make it look profitable at any expense and sell it off - and with the coming age boom, there will be no shortage of eager buyers. But legitimate public companies will find that they can not operate profitably inside the law, and the cost and quality of nursing care will decline again. Add the fact that there is a critical shortage of RN's and you have a recipe for disaster.

I don't have a solution, but you can bet there will be more (ineffective) government regulation, more nursing home horror stories and more profits for shady equity firms who's profits will be going increasingly to Middle Eastern firms investing oil money in the USA.

Until we quit wasting precious natural resources (oil AND grandma) we're going to be held hostage by our own greed.



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June 7, 2007

But I Don't Feel Good!--Boomers' Health

I thought it was just me. But John Tierney, who writes for the New York Times, Science Times, describes research showing that Boomers report more problems with their health than older generations did when they were in their fifties. Are we less healthy or just whinier? Tierney's article has some nicely acidic comments too.


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March 28, 2007

Boomer Fitness: Moving Free

by Mirabai Holland, MFA

Q: I have a family history of osteoporosis. My bone density test just came back low. My doctor says I have osteopenia and I should take calcium supplements and exercise. What kind of exercise should I do?

A: Weight bearing exercise like walking and lifting weights can help maintain bone mass and even increase it. The process is called bone loading.

Studies with tennis players show that by whackin' a ball back and forth day after day, the bones in the racquet arm became stronger and denser than the bones in the non-racquet arm.

The three areas most at risk for osteoporotic fracture are the spine, the thighbone at the hip and the wrist.

Here are some exercises you can do at home to get you started.

Keep reading "Boomer Fitness: Moving Free" >>


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June 27, 2006

We Don't Need Those Silly Safeguards

If you were planning to have a pacemaker installed or try a new drug for what ails you, I'd hold off for a while. According to this article in the NY Times, The FDA's enforcement of drug safety laws has steadily declined since...big surprise here...Bush has been president. According to a study by Democrat Congressman Henry Waxman, warning letters to drug companies and medical device makers and seizures of dangerous or defective drugs have both dropped steeply over the last five years. So, I guess Bush can add dismantling safeguards to the fundamental health and safety of individuals to his list of accomplishments. What does he care--he doesn't need a defibrillator.




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June 9, 2006

Where's There Smoke?

stopsmoking.jpg

In case you're wondering about the dearth of fresh content here lately, there's a perfectly good explanation. One of us has just quit smoking after 38 years and had neither the patience nor concentration to sit at the computer for long. The other one of us has gone into virtual hiding until the worst of the withdrawal is over---it's a little dangerous around here.

No really, being a defiantly unreconstructed smoker in these days of self-righteousness and bossiness has been a privilege and a pleasure. Standing in doorways and parking lots; braving the 'tsk-tsks' of passers-by to whom my personal choices should be none of their damn business; being made to feel as I'm selling crack to pre-schoolers every time I light up---none of this contributed to my decision to quit. Even our state's recent ban on smoking in restaurants didn't do it.

However, as I approach my senior years, I finally believe the stuff about emphysema and lung cancer--helped along by a nasty cough lately. It occurs to me that, were I to contract either of these diseases, it would be my own damn fault and I would be subjecting friends and family to my time-consuming, annoying, and costly decline.

So, 1 month in, I've gained 8 pounds, can't sit still, sleep a lot, and chew on a lot of straws. I'm sure it'll get better. My brain may even resume normal function. But right now, gotta run--I need a new straw. Oh yeah--if you're still smoking and might want to stop, QuitNet isn't bad. Didn't help me much but it's an awfully friendly warm & fuzzy place to hang out while you're jones-ing.




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June 3, 2006

Insurance Options for Boomers

Here are 2 phrases I hoped never to see in a sentence: 'baby boomers' and long-term care.' But we all know bad things don't wait until we're 80 or so to happen. According to this release, a new insurance product affords baby boomers greater funds from long-term care policies for use during early claims.




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October 29, 2005

How Healthy is Your Health Insurance?

We really really like when people send us content for the site. We like it even more when the content is of direct interest to Boomers. The following is an excerpt from a new book by Paul Zane Pilzer about health insurance for those nearing retirement age. That would be us. Read and learn. You can also buy the book at Amazon

The New Health Insurance Solution
by Paul Zane Pilzer

If you retire before age 65 when you become eligible for Medicare, you may face the most challenging health insurance period of your life.

Why Employers Are Cutting or Canceling Their Retiree Health Insurance Benefits

When employer-sponsored health insurance began, people often worked for the same employer for most of their life--there was an unwritten contract between a corporation and its workers to provide health benefits, retirement benefits, and lifetime employment. This contract was shattered during the past two decades as globalization forced employers to lower their labor costs to remain in business.

If you currently work for one of the few companies that provide retiree health benefits, don't expect your company to still be providing them when you retire. If you are currently receiving retiree benefits, don't count on these benefits continuing unless your former employer is bound by an ironclad contract.

Keep reading "How Healthy is Your Health Insurance?" >>


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October 13, 2005

Beware Menopausal Co-Workers

ladygun.gif
Information from a Harris Interactive survey presented at the North American Menopause Society's annual meeting, the large number of menopausal baby boomer women in the workplace is becoming a 'public health issue.' What, do they think we'll pull out Uzis on our co-workers during a hot flash? The survey also finds that we women are surprisingly uninformed about treatment choices for menopause.



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September 12, 2005

Cranky Boomer Men

We received a release about The Irritable Male Syndrome, recently released in paperback. Although I didn't realize that crankiness in Boomer-age men was an actual syndrome, the book, by Jed Diamond, sounds pretty interesting. An article by the author follows.

Keep reading "Cranky Boomer Men" >>


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August 25, 2005

HIV/AIDS and Boomers

According to this article this article in the Amsterdam News a new CDC report indicates that the elderly and the almost elderly (that would be us) are at greater risk for HIV and AIDS then in previous years. Of all new cases reported in 2003, about 30% were people 45 or older.

For more on AIDS from Senior Health




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August 19, 2005

Old is as Old Does

We received this from Barbara Morris, a 76-year-old working pharmacist and writer on anti-aging strategies. We're all for anti-aging strategies.

Put Old on Hold -- Start Now
By Barbara M. Morris, R.Ph.

Is it possible to avoid premature mental and physical decline? Is it possible to reach age 60, 70 and beyond and feel and function like a healthy 40- or 50-year-old? Absolutely. Gerontologist Dr. John W. Rowe says how well you age is 70 percent lifestyle choices and 30 percent heredity and environment. That 70 percent gives you incredible power to control how your life evolves.

This is how to fight 'old age' and win:

Keep reading "Old is as Old Does" >>


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August 11, 2005

Boomer Decrepitude

Do we really want to be reminded to upgrade our health and fitness habits? No. Do we need to be told again that yeah...we're getting older? Oh please, leave me alone. Certainly I'm resilient enough to get by on Tastykakes and the occasional jumping jack. On the off-chance I'm wrong, here are some health and fitness tips for our doddering and deconstructing bodies.




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Baby Boomers Find Gray Hair is a Good Thing

No, not a cure for gray hair, but tasty clues as to what causes it. According to an Associated Press article scientists have discoverd why hair turns gray, and in the bargain are following clues to treating melanoma.

Being the "self-absorbed" generation that we are, we'll probably find a way to ignore the cancer findings and go straight for the cure for gray hair.




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