Previous month:
February 2021
Next month:
April 2021

March 2021

Ageism is a Global Issue

Screen Shot 2021-03-23 at 2.07.21 PM
Who would think that WHO (the World Health Organization) would launch something called the "Global Campaign to Combat Ageism"? But they just did, stating this compelling reason:

"Ageism is the stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people on the basis of their age. Ageism is pervasive and has profound negative consequences on older adults' health and wellbeing. We need to act now to improve the lives of people everywhere. In response to a call from Member States, WHO is leading and working with other stakeholders on a Global Campaign to Combat Ageism that aims to build a world for all ages by changing the way we think, feel and act towards age and ageing."

In WHO's 200-plus Global Report on Ageism, the organization reports, "Globally, one in two people are ageist against older people." WHO says "Ageism has serious and far-reaching consequences for people's health, well-being and human rights. For older people, ageism is associated with a shorter lifespan, poorer physical and mental health, slower recovery from disability and cognitive decline. Ageism reduces older people's quality of life, increases their social isolation and loneliness (both of which are associated with serious health problems), restricts their ability to express their sexuality and may increase the risk of violence and abuse against older people."

WHO believes three strategies can reduce ageism: Policy and law, educational interventions and intergenerational contact interventions. The organization's three recommendations for action are:

  1. Invest in evidence-based strategies to prevent and tackle ageism.
  2. Improve data and research to get a better understanding of ageism and how to reduce it.
  3. Build a movement to change the narrative around age and ageing.

In an effort to jumpstart the campaign, WHO has created a "Toolkit" for anyone who wants to help fight ageism. It includes resources to inspire conversations, organize events and spread the word via social media and other methods. I have included a link to the Toolkit (PDF) here:

Download Combat-ageism-toolkit

American Boomers are in a unique position: We ourselves are often victims of ageism, especially in the workplace. But we are also one of the most appropriate groups to combat ageism. I encourage everyone -- of any age -- to download the Toolkit and join the fight. Ageism is a global issue, and as WHO says, "It is time to say no to ageism."

Image: World Health Organization is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Read about 156 best and worst brands of the 50s and 60s! 

The Online Shift

OnaWhim Thomas-lefebvre-gp8BLyaTaA0-unsplashOne of the most striking effects of this year-long pandemic has been the remarkable shift to the online world. Many Boomers were already comfortable communicating digitally, getting information from websites and ordering products online, but there has been a virtual explosion (pun intended) of online everything lately. Just a few examples:

  • The e-commerce increases for such retailers as Target and Walmart are breathtaking -- not to mention Amazon, whose revenue has soared into the stratosphere during the pandemic.
  • Online grocery, food delivery and restaurant takeout orders have skyrocketed. Many of us (myself included) have tried grocery delivery services for the first time. Some of the restaurants in my local community have been very creative in offering specially created takeout meals, making them easy to order online.
  • "Zooming" has become a common verb. I've attended countless webinars, meetings and online classes via Zoom. While it isn't always an ideal experience, it has been a safe haven replacement for in-person events. Kudos to organizations such as my local OLLI College for Seniors, which has managed to replace its in-person classes with online classes for all semesters.

For Boomers, one of the most enriching avenues has been online education. In "Remote Learning Isn't Just for Kids," a recent article in The New York Times, MIT AgeLab research associate Luke Yoquinto tells Kerry Hannon, the "growth of older age demographics will translate to new demand for enrichment in the form of digital education." He observes, “There are already tons of people who, once upon a time, by dint of age or circumstance, wouldn’t traditionally have gotten the chance to partake in education, but can now sign up for free online courses.”

Ironically, online education may be one of the great side benefits for Boomers of being isolated by the pandemic. It may have forced many of us to discover online courses we would otherwise have overlooked. Online education has become far more sophisticated: A course can be on-demand, so it can be consumed any time it's convenient for the learner. Live courses can be streamed from anywhere to anywhere, even with multiple guest speakers and elaborate audiovisual presentations, including video. The only limiting factor is the learner's internet connection, but access to broadband is increasingly common.

Online education isn't just for recreational learning, either. There are numerous online programs that lead to higher education degrees or professional certificates. For Boomers, that could mean new job opportunities or even alternative careers. Boomers interested in starting their own business will also find online training available; for example, the above-referenced article mentions three possibilities: GetSetUp, Blissen, and Work for Yourself@50+ from AARP.

Boomers who have continued to work through the pandemic may have experienced another big online shift -- the shift to working remotely. Some jobs could not easily be transitioned to online work, but for those Boomers who have been able to work from home and remain employed, remote work has been a godsend. In fact, there are many workplace efficiency analysts who believe remote working may end up being a permanent change.

If you're looking for a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, the online shift may be it.

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Read about 156 best and worst brands of the 50s and 60s! 

All Hail the Centenarians


Characters-3533352_1920We've all been focused on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of late due to the pandemic -- so this is one piece of data from the CDC you may have missed: The growth of the country's 100-plus age group is impressive; it has increased by 44 percent since 2000. There are currently about 92,000 centenarians in the U.S., 80 percent of whom are women.

Reaching the ripe old age of 100 was unthinkable for our parents, and it still may be out of reach for many Boomers. But hitting the century mark is not out of the question, even for us. We don't have direct control over that chronological achievement -- as much as 40 to 50 percent of longevity is due to genetic factors, according to Dr. Thomas Perls, professor of medicine and geriatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, as quoted in The New York Times. Perls said about one in 5,000 Americans are likely to make it to 100 years of age.

Still, whether we reach 100 or not, most of us are living much longer than previous generations, and that mans we need to look at life differently. Consultant Mitch Anthony, author of "Life Centered Financial Planning," told John Wasik of The Times there are three important questions we need to answer: "What do you want out of life, what gives you joy, and how do you pay for it?"

Research suggests that having a sense of purpose, finding personal happiness, and remaining active and vital all contribute to living a longer life. Still, two of the biggest challenges as we age are health and money. A majority of Boomers think they want to "age in place" -- a nice thought, but certainly more difficult as the aging process progresses. In addition, failing health almost inevitably is associated with aging. Dr. Perls offers "TheLivingTo100" calculator to assess potential longevity based on forty health and lifestyle factors.

As for money, well, even those of us who have wisely engaged a financial planner may be surprised to learn that we could quite possibly outlive our nest egg. James Brewer, a certified financial planner with Envision Wealth Planning in Chicago, told The Times, "A lot can happen over ten decades, especially over the last three. It's important to review your wealth-transfer and personal wishes annually." Obviously, any financial plan should include not just an annual review but a periodic projection of how long your money might be expected to last. It's best to know about potential shortfalls early enough so you can take corrective action.

One thing we can all be confident of: Living until or even past 100 is becoming more and more possible every day. We can also be pretty sure that turning 100 is not for sissies!

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Read about 156 best and worst brands of the 50s and 60s! 

The Healthy Boomer Brain

Musings Jesse-martini-Iod3vdjKE1E-unsplashAn estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dimentia, according to the Alzheimer's Association. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another dimentia. Between 2000 and 2019, deaths due to Alzheimer's more than doubled, increasing 145 percent. There was a 16 percent increase in deaths from Alzheimer's in 2020 over the previous five years; the COVID-19 pandemic is believed to be at least partially responsible for the increase.

As sobering as these statistics are, they represent the most serious aspects of brain deterioration during aging. The fact is that millions of Boomers may suffer from other conditions that affect the brain. For example, 10 to 20 percent of those older than 65 are diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The Mayo Clinic describes MCI as "the stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia. It's characterized by problems with memory, language, thinking or judgment." is an excellent website started by a physician that offers a wealth of authoritative information about Mild Cognitive Impairment, including research and helpful resources.

The world of science is studying brain decline, and online tools are now becoming available to assess brain health. One example is the new Synaptitude Brain Health Lifestyle Assessment, developed by a Canadian team led by Dr. Max Cynader, founding director of the Djavad Mowafagian Center for Brain Health in British Columbia. This assessment evaluates brain health by asking questions in five areas: sleep, exercise, stress, nutrition and cognition. Synaptitude uses the assessment to determine if individuals can benefit from its "Brain Fitness" program.

As indicated above, a healthy brain is directly related to lifestyle factors. Experts recommend that brains be "exercised" just like bodies. Lots of information about improving brain health is available through various sources that address Boomer issues, such as AARP (, NextAvenue ( and the American Federation for Aging Research (

Boomers need to be hyper-aware of maintaining a healthy brain, especially in stressful times like these. The brain is, after all, the most valuable asset we have.

Photo by Jesse Martini on Unsplash is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Read about 156 best and worst brands of the 50s and 60s!