Fifteen years ago, a Health Services Research report described the challenges ahead for the United States as the Baby Boom generation aged into retirement. Four issues were paramount: 1) improving payment and insurance systems for long-term care, 2) ensuring people remain healthy and active as they age, 3) organizing community services so care is readily available, and 4) changing cultural perceptions of aging so everyone remains “integrated into the fabric of community life.”1
Have these challenges been met? Let’s take a look at each issue:
Long-term Care Needs
Here’s the bad news: Government estimates suggest 62 percent of older Americans will need long-term care (LTC) during their lifetimes, yet just 7 percent of Americans age 50 or older have stand-alone LTC policies. In fact, sales of these policies have fallen by 60 percent, according to LIMRA.2
Here’s the good news: Sales of combination products, such as life insurance policies or annuities that also have long-term care provisions, have increased.2
Health and Wellness
Here’s the bad news: Older Americans have many more physically unhealthy days than younger Americans do, according to the Centers for Disease Control.3
Here’s the good news: Boomers are more focused on health and wellness than prior generations. In a Forbes article, the authors of Health + Wellness 2017 wrote, “There has been, perhaps, no more pervasive lifestyle shift in the American contemporary scene than the desire among Baby Boomers to lead active, healthy lives…it is the initiative taken by aging Boomers to create a new way of living based on the pursuit of not just wellbeing but being well that has driven permanent changes in America food culture and healthy living.”4
Here’s the bad news: The need for caregiving is expected to increase rapidly during the next few decades.5
Here’s the good news: The resources available through private and public organizations “can help solve long-term care issues and ease the strain on the caregiver,” according to AARP. Home and community-based services often include companionship, transportation, housekeeping, and meal programs.5
Perceptions of Aging
Here’s the bad news: Cultural views of aging are slow to change.6
Here’s the good news: We continue to evolve as we age, and our lives often become more fulfilling, according to the longest longitudinal study of human development in history. “Surrounding oneself with positive people is boomers’ best strategy to be joyful in their third act, with love and support from others a far more effective anti-aging technique than any pill or treatment,” reports Psychology Today.7
While some issues related to the health and wellbeing of the Baby Boom generation have yet to be resolved, many boomers will probably enjoy rich and satisfying lives for years to come.
Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day
A healthy breakfast can kick start your metabolism and give you the energy to get through a long day. On most days, it’s a good idea to start with something tasty and nutritious, like granola with fruit or a smoothie. On the days you decide to indulge, this recipe will thrill your taste buds!
White Gull Inn’s Cherry and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast8
1 loaf egg bread, unsliced
1 8-ounce package cheese cream, room temperature
1/4 cup whipping cream
1-1/4 cups tart Montmorency cherries, drained, divided in half
Cinnamon, for garnish
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Trim ends from loaf and cut bread into six slices (approximately 1½ to 2 inches thick). Make a cut three-quarters down the middle of each slice (to form a pocket) being careful not to cut all the way through (each slice will become two slices but will be joined together at the bottom). Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, whipping cream, and 3/4 cup cherries. Spread approximately 1/6 cup of the mixture into the pocket of each slice of bread. Gently press slices together, evenly distributing filling.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs and milk together. Dip stuffed slices into egg mixture and coat all sides. Place immediately on a lightly-oiled, heated griddle and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until golden brown, turning to cook second side.
Remove cooked slices from griddle and place on a cutting board. Gently make a diagonal cut through each slice, forming two triangles. Arrange two triangles on six individual plates. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and remaining cherries. Serve with maple syrup.
What Do You Know About Women?
During Women’s History Month (March), the World Economic Forum celebrates the achievements of trailblazing women who may not be remembered in our history books. See what you know about some of these amazing women.
- Who was the first African-American woman elected to the United States Congress? (Hint: She was also the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.)9
a. Barbara Jordan
b. Yvonne Burke
c. Shirley Chisholm
d. Cardiss Collins
- What didn’t Huda Shaarawi do in her lifetime?9
a. Live in a harem
b. Fight British colonialism
c. Establish the Egypt Feminist Union
d. Send a text message
- Anglo-Irish sports photographer and journalist Lilian Bland was the first woman in the world to design, build, and fly an aircraft. What did her father offer to buy her if she would stop flying?9, 10
a. An automobile
b. A race horse
c. A husband
d. A camera
- Hedy Lamarr wasn’t just a pretty face. She patented an invention that has been employed in wireless technologies like cell phones. What was it called?9
a. Electrodynamic induction
b. Frequency-hopping spread-spectrum
c. Electronic numerical integrator and computer
d. None of the above
What Would You Say?
Imagine one of these scenarios: You’ve just finished a grueling seven minutes of wrestling, your team eked out a win in a close football match, or you’ve completed a run or swim with a personal record. Next thing you know, a reporter thrusts a microphone in your face and expects you to say something. What would you say? Here are a few memorable quotes from some great athletes:
“Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row.”
–Vitas Gerulaitis, Professional tennis player (after winning his 17th match against Jimmy Connors)11
“Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move.”
–Satchel Paige, Professional baseball player11
“Victory is fleeting. Losing is forever.”
–Billy Jean King, Professional tennis player11
“Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.”
–Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic heptathlon and long jump champion12
“You can’t win them all but you can try.”
–Babe Didrikson Zaharias, American gold medalist and LPGA player12
“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”
–Mario Andretti, Professional racecar driver13
“I never said most of the things I said.”
–Yogi Berra, Professional baseball player13
- c – Shirley Chisholm
- d – Send a text message
- a– An automobile
- b– Frequency-hopping spread-spectrum
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