Open Thread

Open Thread Update: Are We the 2030 Problem?

myths-of-aging-african-american-senior

Last Sunday we revealed that despite our increasing savvy in technology and better health care and habits than ever before, society (to the tune of some 203 million Google hits) consider us “The 2030 Problem.”

That’s according to this abstract (one of many) about the impact of Baby Boomers getting older and older and the resulting impact on society.

One solution is to do what Senior Planet does, on a mass scale – reimagine aging – and shifting the culture to change how society views older people, a la Ashton Applewhite.

I’d like to see more reality in how older people are represented in the media and popular culture. For instance, in last week’s open thread (read it here) one respondent noted that news reports use the phrase “67 year old grandmother” whether the person has grandchildren or not!

The good news is, according to some of our comments, people our age are refusing to accept being pigeonholed – but we have a long way to go. (Canada is not much more ahead of us, according to one comment.)

We’ll leave the thread open so the conversation can continue. And take a minute to swan over to Old School, a clearinghouse on anti-ageism resources and info.

 

 

 

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at [email protected]

COMMENTS

9 responses to “Open Thread Update: Are We the 2030 Problem?

  1. I think about how much history I’ve lived through, and how I learned about the Great Depression, and World War II , not just from school but from what my parents related to me about growing up then. I have tried to share that with my own children and before I retired as a teacher with my students. We are not all RGB, but we have been a part of history from the Cuban Missle Crisis to Covid-19. Yet I see what my Millennial children have to deal with, 9/11, the Great Recession, Covid-19, Global Warming, under-employment, and college debt.

  2. Hello. There’s a gen/gen event sponsored by Senior Planet coming up. “Lives Well Lived”…younger folks sharing knowledge, questions with older.
    Hey! We’re not dead. How about, “Living Well Lived Lives” …

  3. Currently, in the national news, the two most well-regarded and trusted are Ruth Badger Ginsburg and Anthony Fauci. Let’s think on how old these founts of wisdom are…hmmm. Seems to me that the evidence of our viability, knowledge and usefulness is readily apparent. If those wanting to hurry us off the stage would only take a moment and reflect.

  4. I work at a Senior Center and recently it was my immense pleasure to help a 101 year old woman learn to Zoom, on her iPhone 7. She got it in no time and even corrected the password that her son had written down incorrectly. My wish for a culture change is that people 70 or older are not treated like has-beens or drains on society. But as people who have a lifetime of knowledge and can make a valuable contribution.

    1. I agree! i am 61 physically, but my mind is still telling me I am 40!!!! I don’t like being treated like my mind and abilities are no longer functioning and that I am no longer viable for anything. I had a 32 year career in city government. I taught yoga as my retirement activity. That has stopped due to Covid and my feeling of being inadequate is now heightened as a result. I know, that’s on me, not society.

      I am thankful for my older friends! They have lovingly shared their experiences with me as I have entered my 60’s. I take their recommendations seriously. They know what I am going through and are helping me navigate this phase.

    2. Thank you Ellie! The animosity I undergo from “young un’s” in their 20s -30s and even 40s occasionally simply due to my being 60-something always catches me unprepared and exasperated. I always enjoyed and value still the wisdom those with a broader sense of history and first hand experience imparted. While wisdom and age are not synonymous, I believe wisdom regardless of source, is sadly unrecognized and under valued in current culture.

  5. I’m with you, Virge. It’s no different in Canada. I am tired of seeing my daughters’ age bracket dominate the media. Is there a way that we could constructively work with outlets including major companies to help them attract and retain more of us?

    1. Employ us as a tool for mentoring nubbies in many of the fields we’ve excelled in for years. We can accelerate the learning curve of newer employees and then let them fly with the skills that took us years to acquire.

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