Where Is the Transition From Aging to Elderly?
Never before has the semantics of aging been a mainstream consideration. Right now baby boomers comprise the largest, loudest, and most affluent demographic in the country. Being a boomer is kind of, well, in, frankly. Cool. We’re the “can do” generation; the dreammakers if one would believe the high profile marketing tactics of companies like the one glamorizing midlife ‘la Dennis Hopper.
But the unspoken reality for baby boomers looms large like the dark side of the moon. It’s the next part. When and how do we go from referring to ourselves as “baby boomers” to embracing the term “senior citizens”? At what point does our conversation and the way we reference ourselves within this demographic jump from midlife to elderly? Certainly the lines have blurred with a longer life span; midlife would have been 30 or 40 years of age not that long ago.
Aging is a natural phenomenon. As I have often heard said, “None of us are getting out of this alive”. But make no mistake about it, this generation will not go quietly into that good night!
The baby boomer group is a political and economic power, within which financially successful baby boomer women are included. No longer is the elder group invisible…that has definitely changed. In her article For Baby Boomers, Aging Is the Next Frontier, Laura Paull explores this concept of what it means to be an aging baby boomer. Much of what is new for this aging generation is that they are healthier longer than ever before. Good nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, medical care and and that yet-to-be-determined something has allowed this group to flourish. To grow. And to share their experience, wisdom, and a sense of wonder for lifelong joys.
The recurring theme with happy, youthful seniors includes a number of common components: family ties, friends, community involvement, and continually staying physically active. All of these serve to soften the transition from aging to elderly. “Just keep putting one foot in front of the other” is more than just a cliche’, it seems!