Baby boomers: don't call them 'seniors'

The baby boom generation is the most talked about generation in the Canadian population. They are the result of a 20-year bulge in the population in the post WWII years (ending in 1964). The earliest members are 68 years old. And by the end of 2014, they’ll all be 50 years of age and older.

This generation changed everything. In their teens, they questioned authority and insisted on a more egalitarian society through their consciousness revolutions. As young adult, they popularized new industries such as personal computing and natural products. Then in middle age, they’ve become dominant consumers of luxury products, cars, educational travel, financial services, second homes, healthcare services, wellness products and more. Baby Boom expectations of middle age departed ways from those of their parents. Baby boomers are determined to own their aging process and do it their way.

For starters, don’t call them ‘seniors’.

What do Baby boomers want to be referred to as they reach age 55 years and older? They’re confounding Senior Adult Centres (SAC) across the province who scramble to appeal to Baby boomers, the next generation of, well, seniors. Membership numbers are dropping as Baby boomers avoid associating themselves with the mention of the word ‘senior’. How did this word develop a stigma for baby boomers? Maybe part of the answer lies in their resistance to being categorized. Maybe a ‘senior’ is how they view their parents and their generation. That was the generation they rebelled against in their youth. It’s not who they are. Maybe that rebelliousness is showing itself again. Or maybe it never went away.

We appreciate the baby boomer’s attitude to aging because we believe that while getting up there may be mandatory, growing old is optional. We’re here to help both generations remain vital, healthy and connected to their community as they head toward retirement years (or for the lucky ones who are already retired). Check back to this blog, Growing Old is Optional for the latest information, opinions, and ruminations on aging so you can be in control of your own aging process. And that’s good news for anyone heading into their senior (shhhh!) years.

Getting up there is mandatory but growing old is optional.