Monday, July 18, 2011

Are you getting older? Of course you are. Everyone is getting older. And every company is going to make money trying to convince you that you are getting better. The new baby boomer senior citizen is determined to keep old age away. The new ethic is that if you don’t keep moving, soon you won’t be able to move at all. And, they are moving, determined to get old differently than their parents got old.

Corporate America is listening. Yes, they are marketing to baby boomers that is now considered the wealthiest generation in the history of the United States and in such an uncertain economy, we need their business. Nobody else has money to spend. The first baby boomers turned 65 this year; a projected 71 Million people. One fifth of the population will be that age or older by 2030.

Staying true to their reputation as the me generation, they want stuff. They grew out of the anti-war protestors of the 60’s and 70’s. They thought they could change the world. They are not obviously the first generation to get old, but they are the first generation to have greater expectations that old age could be better. MIT even has a AGE Lab to study products and services and devices to simulate the mobility problems associated with old age.

What do we have to look forward to? By age 75 symptoms of arthritis, the yellowing of your eye lenses, restrictive movement, loss of hand sensitivity, wobbly stance, limited head turning, headaches from spinal compression. Therefore, the additional friction from shopping. Getting in and out of the store, car, even just getting out of your favorite chair at home. All potential problems.

Stores like CVS want you old geezer still to come in and buy their junk. To make it easier for older folks to shop notice that the shelves are lower. The very top is now at eye level. The signs are easily read in large print. The entire store is carpeted to cut down on the noise levels. The lighting is softer and some even provide magnifying strips so you can read the fine print on their products. Deliberately, all very subtle

Remember the advertisements boasting about the helplessness of old people? “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Then services of people in medic uniforms that are sending younger people immediately to lift your old carcass off the floor. Or the “Clapper” “Clap on, Clap off” because you can’t even shut your lights off in your room! Those advertisements are pretty much gone.

Now advertisers are pushing vitality. The Depends ads are telling you that you have increased vitality and can be anywhere and go anywhere. Yes, you can pee in your pants anywhere in now colored adult diapers! Ugh! Cars are now warning you with devices that tell you when something is to close, an alarm will go off before you hit something. Cars are also parallel parking themselves!

Even though ¼ of all new car buyers are 65 or older, no company will dare say this new junk is for you old timer. No business will dare use the words old or age. They will use words like smarter or the new young. New technology will also monitor our health right in our homes. Sensors can be installed everywhere to monitor where you are walking and what you are doing with surveillance to your loved ones to see you burn the house down or forget you left the water on and flood everything. Yes, an early warning system to monitor your inevitable decline in mobility and movement.

Yes, intervention is on the way to monitor your injury or lack of mobility. Robots with video screens are being developed that you can control the movement to travel into different rooms to check on people. So, don’t visit grandma and give her a hug, send her a robot and you can yell at her via skype to get up and wipe your own drool off your face!

So, the more we demand, the more we are going to get. Seniors got the only money left in this world unless you are filthy rich and you can hire someone to wipe your ass. Bottom line, now old age can be fun. People are more engaged. There is a health or fitness group everywhere geared to the older person. Sexual dysfunction is a term of the past, seniors have more sexual enhancement products now than ever before.

It almost makes you wish you are older! The typical baby boomer believes “old age” doesn’t begin until 72. No one can afford to retire before then anyway. Take care of yourself, people expect you to live much longer than ever before in history. I need a nap!

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