Early Signs on the Road of Aging – 17 Signs For Boomers to Notice About Their Parents

Right now, your gut may be telling you something is amiss with one or both of your parents. Feelings of frustration, panic, and being overwhelmed accompany these thoughts, and before long, your head begins to spin with the thoughts of "Where do I begin?" and "What if …?" You need to decide right now that you will actively manage this challenge rather than being passive and letting it manage you.

We see the early signs of aging and tend to ignore them for a lot of reasons. For one thing, we do not like to think about our parents growing old. We get stuck with this image of them, maybe right after retirement, when they're happy, full of life, and enjoying the freedom of not having to work. We also have an uncanny sense of knowing our place. For all our lives, our parents were the ones teaching us, nurturing us, helping us when we got in a jam, and telling us what to do. It just does not feel right to tell mom she needs to clean out her refrigerator more often.

We also ignore these early signs of our parents' aging because they cause us to think the unthinkable: our parents can not live forever. This alone is a choking thought and certainly one to bring tears to anyone's eyes. The first thing you can do to prepare for the inevitable is to pay attention to the early signs of aging and illness.

What are those early signs? Basically, any change you notice in your parents' behavior, attitudes, and surroundings can be an indicator. Forgetfulness is one of the most common symptoms of the aging process, and by itself it is no real cause for concern. But there are other signs to notice:

  1. Declining mobility Common ailments such as arthritis coupled with a loss of physical strength will make it hard for your parents to climb stairs, bend over and pick things up, perform household chores, and pursue hobbies that once were able to do.
  2. Vision problems This is usually evidenced by difficulties in reading, sitting closer to the television than normal, a loss of peripheral vision or blurry vision, and squinting when they talk to you.
  3. Loss of interest in favorite hobbies Your mom, who has sewn all her life, has not touched the sewing machine in months. Your dad seldom fusses in his garden anymore.
  4. Irritability A once gregarious and fun-loving parent rarely laughs and gets irritated and impatient easily.
  5. Hearing loss You have to repeat yourself often or notice that the television volume is consistently loud. Your parent is often reluctant to admit there's a problem or to seek help.
  6. Confusion Older people often misplace things or lose track of which day of the week it is.
  7. Repetition Your parents tell the same story within a short time period.
  8. Short-term memory loss Your mom forgers the boiling water on the stove. Your dad can not remember what day of the week it is.
  9. Fatigue Your parent tires easily, needs to sit down and rest in the middle of an activity, nods off during the day, and sleeps more often and longer than usual.
  10. Unopened mail It is not unusual for an older person who is struggling or having difficulty to let the mail pile up, often for weeks.
  11. Changes in the home environment The house begins to look shabby. The yard becomes overgrown. The house has more clutter than usual. Simple maintenance tasks are left undone, such as cleaning the bathroom or emptying the trash, and there are strange odors in the house.
  12. Unusual spending and / or hoarding (collecting) you notice strange financial habits, especially ordering products from infomercials or an increase in the amount of magazine subscriptions.
  13. Preoccupation with finances Your mom expresses concerns about money. Your dad complains more than usual about prices, taxes, and so on.
  14. Change in appetite or not eating well Your parents appear to be losing weight or not eating well. Their kitchen cabinets are crammed with out-of-date canned goods or perhaps only boxes of cereal and crackers.
  15. Staying alone, isolation Your parents used to enjoy visiting friends, but they just make excuses and stay home alone, watching television or staring out the window.
  16. Depression or anxiety
  17. Bruising from stumbles or falls

What should you do if you notice any of these signs of aging in your parents? Let's begin with what you should not do, and that's overreact. The most common – and unhelpful – form of overreaction is to nag your parents about these things. That will only make the situation worse.

Most people react to these signs of aging by either forcing the issue with their parents or ignoring it. Do not try to fix it. Do not nag. Yet do not ignore these signs either. Just pay attention. Begin keeping a diary or log and write down what you notice. By paying attention and keeping a record, you will be able to objectively determine if these behaviors are occurring infrequently and then are not really troubling, or if they are getting worse and may need intervention.

The second thing you should do when you notice these signs is to begin to think about the future. This is one of the hardest things for Boomers to do. No one likes to anticipate the inevitable. Deep down, we know no one lives forever and ever our parents will pass on. But who likes to think about that? Yet I have found that when my clients allow them to think a few years ahead, they are much better prepared for the day when all they have left is their parents' empty house. Being in denial will help no one, least of all your parents. Dont 'wait to deal with these issues until a moment of crisis.

What do you do now?

  1. Begin a diary. Record any unusual or alarming behavior that you notice in your parents.
  2. Call or visit your parents. From now on, pay specific attention to your parents' health and well-being. While you're at it, tell them you love them. There's no time like the present.
  3. Begin a conversation with your siblings. Gently and tactfully raise the issue of your parents' future.

copyright 2010, The Estate Lady, LLC.

Millennials stand out for their technology use

Millennials have often led older Americans in their adoption and use of technology, and this largely holds true today. But there has also been significant growth in tech adoption in recent years among older generations – particularly Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

More than nine-in-ten Millennials (92%) own smartphones, compared with 85% of Gen Xers (those who turn ages 38 to 53 this year), 67% of Baby Boomers (ages 54 to 72) and 30% of the Silent Generation (ages 73 to 90), according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center data. Similarly, the vast majority of Millennials (85%) say they use social media. For instance, significantly larger shares of Millennials have adopted relatively new platforms such as Instagram (52%) and Snapchat (47%) than older generations have.

This analysis reflects the Center’s recent decision to establish 1996 as the final birth year of Millennials, marking that generation as those who turn ages 22 to 37 this year. (Those born in 1997 or later are post-Millennials.)

Unlike with smartphones and social media, Gen Xers have outpaced Millennials in tablet ownership for several years. The gap between them now stands at 10 percentage points, as 64% of Gen Xers and 54% of Millennials say they own tablets. A majority of Gen Xers also say they have broadband service at home. Some 73% of Gen Xers have home broadband, compared with 66% of Boomers and 34% of Silents.

And while the share of social media users among Millennials has remained largely unchanged since 2012, the proportion of Gen Xers who use social media has risen by 11 percentage points during this time period. As a result, comparable shares of Gen Xers and Millennials now report using Facebook (76% and 82%, respectively).

Baby Boomers continue to trail both Gen Xers and Millennials on most measures of technology adoption, but adoption rates for this group have been growing rapidly in recent years. Boomers are now far more likely to own a smartphone than they were in 2011 (67% now versus 25% then). Further, roughly half (52%) of Boomers now say they own a tablet computer, and a majority (57%) now use social media.

Although Boomers have been enthusiastically adopting a range of technologies in recent years, members of the Silent Generation are less likely to have done so. Three-in-ten Silents (30%) report owning a smartphone, and fewer (25%) indicate that they have a tablet computer or use social media (23%). Previous Pew Research Center surveys have found that the oldest adults face some unique barriers to adopting new technologies – from a lack of confidence in using new technologies, to physical challenges manipulating various devices.

In addition to these differences in their use of various technologies, Americans across generations also differ in their overall views of the broad impact of the internet.

Regardless of generation, the vast majority of those who go online think the internet has been good for them personally. But younger internet users are more likely than older Americans who use internet to say the internet has had a positive impact on society: 73% of online Millennials believe that internet has been mostly a good thing for society, compared with 63% of users in the Silent Generation.

At the same time, Americans today are less positive about the societal impact of the internet than they were four years ago. Gen Xers’ views of the internet’s impact on society declined the most in that time. In 2014, 80% of Gen X internet users believed the internet had been mostly a positive thing for society, a number that dropped to 69% this year. Millennial and Silent online goers are also somewhat less optimistic than in 2014.

The new analysis also finds that almost all Millennials (97%) say they use the internet, and 28% of them are smartphone-only internet users. That is, they own a smartphone but do not have traditional broadband service at home. A similarly high share of Gen Xers (96%) also use the internet, as do 83% of Boomers, but just 52% of Silents. When it comes to smartphone-only internet users, 18% of Gen Xers go online primarily via a smartphone, as do 13% of Boomers and 8% of Silents.

Note: See full topline results here (PDF).

Topics: Baby Boomers, Millennials, Social Media, Mobile, Technology Adoption, Generations and Age

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UK baby boomers cut back on food, borrow from kids to pay rent

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Almost half a million baby boomers in Britain are forced to take “drastic measures” to cover their rent, in a sign that people over 50 are finding it increasingly harder to meet housing costs, researchers have found.

A survey by the National Housing Federation (NHF) said last year more than 40 percent of private renters in England aged 50 or above had to borrow from their children, take out loans or cut down on food and heating to pay their rent.

“There is a huge amount of inequality amongst this age group,” said NHF chief executive David Orr.

“Unfortunately the wealthier majority have hidden the reality of hundreds of thousands of people who have never been able to afford a house and are now being failed by the broken housing market.”

Britain is experiencing a housing crisis as homebuilding has not kept pace with demand, driving up property prices, with rents rising faster than wages and homelessness soaring.

Baby boomers – or people born between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s – are often considered to be shielded from the effects as the majority of them own homes outright, the NFA, which represents housing associations and social landlords, said.

But over the past 10 years, British home ownership has changed.

A record 1.13 million people aged 50 and over are renting from private landlords now, compared to 651,000 a decade ago, and many are struggling with rising costs and without supportive adaptations, such as handrails and ramps, the NFA said.

At least 17 percent of those surveyed had to cut down on food and heating, and about 10 percent were forced to take out a loan, use an overdraft or a credit card to pay the rent, the survey published this week showed.

More than one in 10 private renters have borrowed money from family and friends, while 3 percent have asked their children for financial help.

As social housing stock in England has decreased, along with government funding for it, many over 50s have been forced to rent from the private sector, where rates are rising fastest and tenancy contracts are the most insecure.

The rising number of older people in the private rented sector could more than double the housing benefit bill for pensioners by 2060 to 16 billion pounds ($22 billion) from 6 billion pounds at present, NHF said.

The NFA called for more social housing construction and said the government should ensure longer, more secure tenancies for people in the private rented sector.

The housing ministry was not immediately available for comment.

($1 = 0.7343 pounds)

Reporting by Astrid Zweynert @azweynert, Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org and www.thisisplace.org

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Millennials Say Baby Boomers Have Ruined Their Lives—So Let’s Vote Them Out

Millennials seem to think their parents’ generation has made their lives worse. A new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll reveals 51 percent of millennials believe Baby Boomers have screwed them over.

In all fairness, though, Boomer hate is pretty universal: According to the poll, 42 percent of Generation X think Baby Boomers made things worse for their generation, and even 30 percent of Boomers believe their own generation has done more harm than good.

Now that we all mostly agree on this, what can we do? Well, some millennials have a solution: Boot Baby Boomers from office. As one 34-year-old Republican told Axios, removing “all old government officials” and implementing “term limits for the House and Congress” would help fix the world. Impeaching Trump, others argued, and simply voting is a good solution, too.

It’s no secret that millennials have long been upset with Baby Boomers, blaming them for everything from ruining the environment to tanking the economy. But despite Boomers’ constant reference to millennials’ sense of entitlement, it’s Boomers, not millennials, who run this country. 344 members of Congress are Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), Bloomberg reports—and only six are millennials (born between 1981-1996). It’s not like they had to wait their turn, either. In 1999, 253 Baby Boomers held a seat in Congress.

While Boomers largely dominate both congressional parties, Republicans—whose policies seem to reflect thinking that hasn’t changed much since the baby boom of World War II—are mostly over age 55. Currently, 63 percent of Republicans in the House of Representatives and 58 percent of those in the Senate are Boomers, according to Roll Call.

This explains a lot about how the GOP treats American millennials. College students panicked after the GOP’s 2017 tax plan overhaul was initially set to remove a $2,500 tax deduction for interest on student loans, as well as take away other breaks for millennial college students and graduates. That proposal didn’t make it into the final bill, but the fact that millennial college kids were almost forced to carry some of the burden for America’s aging wealthy population speaks volumes about the priorities of the Baby Boomer members of Congress.

It’s not just Baby Boomers at the national level trying to inflict harmful, outdated policies and ideologies, either. A 63-year-old Republican candidate for Idaho’s lieutenant governor once suggested the death penalty would be appropriate punishment for anyone who receives an abortion, and a 55-year-old Republican Oklahoma lawmaker once argued against abortion by suggesting “rape and incest could be part of God’s will.” For young cisgender women and transgender people who have a uterus, Baby Boomers who have held tightly to misogynistic viewpoints pose a severe risk to their reproductive rights. Then there are those that constantly espouse racist, transphobic, and homophobic rhetoric—that list is endless.

All this Baby Boomer hate may come in handy for Democrats during the 2018 election, though. 63 percent of millennials reportedly disapprove of President Trump and 72 percent believe the Republican Party doesn’t care for them, an NBC News/GenForward poll from January revealed. Meanwhile, nearly 60 percent of millennials align themselves with Democrats, Pew Research Center reports, with only 32 percent supporting the Republican Party.

In other words, change is coming as long as millennials (and Gen Xers and Gen Zers) show up at the polls. During last year’s general election, dozens of women campaigned for a role in their state governments, and voters across the U.S. made history after voting in numerous women, transgender people, and people of color on both the state and local levels. Many of these voters even supported younger candidates; Danica Roem, the U.S.’s first openly transgender state lawmaker, is a millennial herself. Voters want more diverse representation than a bunch of white, cisgender Baby Boomers blowhards running the show.

Change takes time, and one or two elections won’t alter the American political landscape drastically or for good. But a sustained, long-term focus on representing millennials with more millennial candidates is a good start.

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The Long Baby Boomer Reign Isn’t Ending Just Yet

Generations are an overused framework for understanding why people think and act the way they do. As psychology professors David P. Costanza of George Washington University and Lisa M. Finkelstein of Northern Illinois University put it in a 2015 survey article:

There is little solid empirical evidence supporting generationally based differences and almost no theory behind why such differences should even exist. 

Still, when the U.S. Census Bureau comes out with new estimates of the country’s population by age, as it did this month, it’s hard to resist thinking in terms of generations at least a little.

Not Evenly Distributed

U.S. population by age as of July 1, 2017

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The beginning and end of the baby boom are easy enough to see here: There were an estimated 880,819 more 70-year-olds than 71-year-olds in the U.S. in the middle of last year, and 241,811 more 52-year-olds than 51-year-olds. With the millennials, there’s not quite such a sharp delineation, but there are clearly tons of people in their late 20s.

Out of curiosity, I added up population by generation, using the generational start and end years chosen by Pew Research Center. These aren’t a perfect fit with the Census Bureau data, since the generations are defined by birth year and the population numbers are as of July 1. But close enough! I replaced Pew’s new “post-millennial” tag with “iGen,” in part because “post-millennial” is so uncreative and in part because my son, one of the older members of said generation, suggested iGen (or maybe it was “iGeneration”) years before Jean M. Twenge did. I also chose an end date for iGen, which Pew hasn’t done yet, by simply assuming that it will cover the same number of years as the millennials and Generation X.

One Nation, Ruled by Boomers and Millennials

U.S. population, sorted by generation, as of July 1, 2017

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

So the boomers remain the biggest generation; Pew predicted recently that they’ll finally give way to the millennials in 2019. This is to some extent a meaningless distinction, given that the baby boom covers three more birth years than the millennial generation does. That inconsistency came about because the baby boom more or less defined itself, while subsequent generations have been artificially delimited by Pew as 16-year spans. Still, one does get the sense that the baby boomers continue to have an outsized influence on our culture and our politics — and it’s clear from the latest Congressional Budget Office projections that they (we, actually; I was born in 1964) will be having an outsized influence on the country’s fiscal situation for years to come.

It’s not that individual baby boomers are radically different from, say, individual Gen Xers; my musical tastes, for example, are much more like those of an Xer than of a boomer. But having an especially large cohort of people of a certain age does seem to matter. After Evan Soltas noted on Twitter that the average age of U.S. Congress members has risen by almost 10 years since 1980, I dug into the Voteview database that he got this information from to see what the boomer share of the current Congress is. It’s huge:

Actually, It’s Just Ruled by Boomers

Members of the 115th Congress* (2017-present), sorted by generation

Source: Voteview Congressional Roll-Call Votes Database

For comparison, I looked back to when the oldest baby boomers were the same age (53) as the oldest Gen Xers are today. The baby boomers held a far greater share of seats than the Xers do now, and this disparity is much bigger than the population differential.

And Has Been for a While

Members of the 106th Congress* (1999-2001), sorted by generation

Source: Voteview Congressional Roll-Call Votes Database

Maybe this is just the result of the overall aging of the U.S. population. But I’m guessing it’s more than that, and that members of bigger generations get extra influence. The boomers have most of the political clout now, and while younger candidates will surely make gains in this year’s midterm elections, we may have to wait for the political maturation of the millennials — the youngest of whom can’t even run for Congress yet (the minimum age for the House is 25; for the Senate, it’s 30) — for them (sorry, us) to be nudged aside.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Justin Fox at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Brooke Sample at [email protected]

Senior Dating Online – Wasting Time Is Not An Option

Baby boomers were born into a world where the tempo of life increases everyday. Not only does the pace of life speed up as you get a bit older, but the entire world started speeding up during the time they were born.

It was called progress and was made into a household value by the media and by our parents. Everyone was supposedly to go to college and multitasking became the norm for many people.

And then the internet came along and what once took hours to accomplish became possible to do in mere seconds. That is one of the largest reasons that senior citizen dating websites are so popular. The idea that you can simply fill in an online form with details about your personal life, press the submit button and get a list of people in your email inbox who like the same things you do.

What better way to cut down on the amount of time it takes to find like minded people to go on dates with. Nothing wrong with taking some time to get know people, but if you can start out with a list of potential partners who you already know judgment.

This way, if you begin with a group of people who you know something about already and then write back and forth with them or chat live online with them; you can more easily see if you would like to continue communicating with them. There are only so many hours in a day, and if you want to find a dating partner so that you can spend time with them, why not use a computer dating service to get yourself a good list of potentials dating candidates.

This idea sure beats asking your friends, and the friends of your friends and the people you work with and the people at church and at the library and the bookstore and even the parking lot of the drug store if they know anyone they think you might want to go out with.

Now, you get to write all the things you enjoy in life and let a computer do your searching for you in micro time. Now that is a sweet idea.

There is no time to waste when it comes to finding a dating partner on a senior citizen dating website, so click your way on over and register yourself so you can more easily start finding the date of your dreams.