Up until a week ago, I had not even given much consideration to my age or any societal implications of my health. Being active has been a choice many Boomers made as much for enduring youthful delusion as for a healthy lifestyle choice. Then, boom – the Boomers became the “elderly” and in some countries apparently expendable in these times of the C-virus, not the “C” that afflicts many but gives you a chance with many effective treatments.
I can barely listen to the admonitions of these sweet looking young ladies prattling on about the global health crisis and the disproportionate impact on the elderly which is apparently now anyone over 60 years of age. My parents died when they were elderly – 89 and 93! That is old and a life well-lived!
Our children, the Millennials, are suggesting we stay at home, stockpile toilet paper, get our medications refilled, and have a plan on occupying ourselves so we don’t become depressed and lonely. I received a call from a kindly older lady from a local senior center. While well-meaning I had to say I was nearly gasping to not guffaw. She wanted to know if I was okay and did I have activities to keep myself busy. We chatted for a while and she said she and another volunteer had taken three sheets each of names, where she got them I have no idea and were calling to check on the elderly. I am only 70, the new 40 I thought 🙂 Just before hanging up, she asked if she could arrange Senior Meals on Wheels deliveries. She was so caring and sweet and I was touched by her kindness.
I am touched by my children’s kindnesses and concerns as well.
But, we are living in an ageist period which is becoming coarse and publicly insincere, translating age into a criterion for treatment if very ill, access to travel opportunities, activity level, and the enjoyment of entertainment options.
Boomers will make it through this current frenzy in the world and America. I plan to be around to be truly elderly, maybe outliving my parents’ generation!