Monday, November 16, 2015

Senior Moment

Although it has been a while now since I entered the world of "50+", I generally have little time for people whose focus is procuring senior benefits. My experience in Columbia, and especially in Oakland Mills, has been with people who believe that age-based discounts are theirs by right and more important than need-based discounts. When I was running for CA Rep in Oakland Mills one of these folks asked me in a public forum, "do you have a senior agenda?"

No, I said. I have a human agenda, because we are all in this together. (I lost.)

The clamorings of a certain generation remind me very much of Sally in "A Charlie Brown Christmas Special." When challenged by her brother on the selfishness of her Christmas list she retorts/whines, "All I want is what's coming to me. All I want is my fair share."

Well today I am pausing to have a senior moment thanks to Amanda Yeager who brought my attention to this article in the Wall Street Journal.

To lure baby boomers senior centers try rebranding

It's interesting. The "new" old people, the Baby Boomer generation, doesn't like words that refer to being old, infirm, needing medical treatment. The article mentions the transition here in Howard County from "Senior Centers" to the new name, "50+". It's a widespread trend to appeal to Boomers with jazzier names and updated activities.

There's just one problem. The Senior Citizens who were there already don't necessarily like the change. This article, Words Matter, talks not just about names changes but also about the very significant range in ages for Boomers. The needs and wants of the oldest may not necessarily jibe with those of the youngest.

So what happens when some of our Columbia Pioneer friends come for Zumba and Zentangle at the 50+ Center and get pushback from the senior citizens who want to play cards with their friends and take the van to the show together? What happens when somebody says to them, "we were here first and we don't want change?"

I can't even put into words what a delicious prospect I find this to be.





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