LOVE & COMPANIONSHIP FOR BABY BOOMERS
By Michael Thomas Masters
Baby Boomers can experience romantic love and companionship. Persons over age forty-five express as much romantic passion as those in their twenties. We can surely fall in love at any age, in our 50s, 60s and even 80s and 90s. This is true for all mature adults, gay, straight, bi-sexual or transgender. In fact, we boomers (and older folks) are becoming the oomph generation!
More and more Baby Boomers are entering the dating world to find companionship and to have someone to communicate with, whether or not romance (and more) follows.
People are living longer and healthier lives as a direct result of looking for love and/or companionship later in life, as well as keeping positive and healthy attitudes. Countless Boomers (and older) are far more active than previous elder generations.
Even in our media and marketing worlds, mature romance comes in a rainbow of diversity, as is evident in countless films, plays, TV programs, TV commercials and printed materials.
For instance, consider the touching, amusing, insightful and offbeat comedy-romance film, HAROLD & MAUDE. At a funeral, a depressed, twenty-year old, Harold (Burt Cort) befriends Maude (the effervescent Ruth Gordon), a seventies plus woman who has a zest for life. Maude and Harold spend much time together, even falling in love, during which time she exposes Harold to the wonders and possibilities of life.
On the small screen, the classic television series THE GOLDEN GIRLS remains a tribute to mature, knowledgeable and lively people, with the series main characters mostly over fifty and full of oomph!
In the past, mature or prime time adults (or seniors, if you prefer) chose more traditional venues, such as cruise ships, bowling clubs, placing personal ads and church gatherings in seeking companionship and/or romantic partners.
With the tagline, “this is what love feels like,” in the film BEGINNERS, a seventy-five years young gay man (Christopher Plummer) meets his younger lover Andy (Goran Visnjc) through social circles, which worked for this happy and loving couple.
Even though these tried and true in-person dating settings are still suitable and work for many single Boomers, on-line Internet dating and surfing has become tremendously popular, saving time, cash and even recurrent travel miles. After all, prime-time age people are far more computer literate than we often give ourselves credit.
Considering the fact that in 2012 half of all people in America over fifty are single, it makes sense that dating sites for those in their golden years are popping up worldwide. Furthermore, in our neighboring country of Canada, where 42% of the entire population is dating online, over the age of forty-five dating has become very acceptable.
Additionally, like plenty of folks under age fifty, many prime-time adults do not feel comfortable hitting the singles bars and other social gathering scenes.
At the time of meeting someone through online dating, you can get to know them better by sharing more information during initial e-mails; than you would with someone, you just start dating in-person. This is because you often spend time sending e-mail (or snail mail) messages back and forth, talking on the telephone and possibly even sharing personal photos or videos.
When you do meet for the first time, taking security precautions are essential, such as meeting in a public place, letting people know where you are going and when you will be back, and taking your cell phone with you. Such precautions are wise to follow even for non-Internet generated first dates.
Remember that human companionship and love can occur when and where we least expect it. In addition to increasing changes of meeting someone, being involved in social activities, gatherings and clubs often places us in environments with other single and interesting Baby Boomers also in search of relationships and/or love.
While further examining media Baby Boomer theme examples, consider the film LAST CHANCE HARRY in which a lonely and single man (Dustin Hoffman) in his 60s, while attending his daughter’s wedding, finds his romantic spirits lifted (and his life changed) by a new female friend (Emma Thompson) in her 50s.
Sound a little too romantic? Hey, sometimes life can be that way. Moreover, love happens to folks of all ages!
If you consider on-line dating as an option, checkout these Baby Boomer (and plus) companionship and dating websites, or surf the Internet on your own for other dating sites and social meeting alternatives.
chemistry.com (gay and lesbian)
Michael Thomas Masters can be reached at email@example.com
By Cheryl Roby
There are days that lack oomph! Let’s face it, the fast paced techno dense life can be stressful.
My computer and blackberry conveniently provide information and up to date status that were unheard of even 10 years ago AND they provide a constant stream of messages that say READ ME, PAY ATTENTION TO ME, I AM URGENT!!
When I realize that my state of mind has gotten out of balance and I am paying more attention to the imagined urgency than to the gift of instant information and connection, my work with stress management and inquiry help bring me back into balance.
As a Reiki Master and student of conscious living I have come to understand that my work first and foremost is to be kind and peaceful in this world. If I am anxious or angry or impatient (substitute any emotions other than peace, love and kindness that resonate with you) I am adding to the energy of war. There is a war going on inside me that affects not only me but everyone I come in contact with and the collective conscious. Our energies are all connected. Our thoughts are powerful beyond what most of us can imagine.
So, before I try to fix what’s out there, I refocus on what is inside; using the tools of inquiry, breath, positive affirmation and others to regain peace.
Cheryl Roby’s website is www.rockyourchakras.com and www.robychart.com
Tomorrow marks another birthday. As I age, I recognize that good health is more and more important than anything. It’s everything.
We’ve all heard the “be proactive” call to action. In a sense, this is assessment from a bird’s eye view. We can assess our lifestyle by repeating the mantras we’ve all heard before: Follow a healthful diet. Get plenty of exercise. Channel our stress. Don’t smoke. Moderation is key. Be engaged, be mindful. Okay, okay….let’s say that we do all that. Are we where we should be in the preventative health maze?
When I conduct an on-line search for “How to Assess Your Health”, my computer screen urges me to take a health report card quiz so that I can determine what my risk factors might be and use my overall score to evaluate my health. Been there, done that. I’m healthy, according to my on-line test results. Is there anything else included in proposed self-diagnostic test kit? Yes. One more thing: I need to trace my family history, which will give me clues about what diseases I might be susceptible to. According to my on-line guides, I am now complete. I can feel assured that I can head off problems before they ever come to the surface.
I’m not a medical professional and sincerely don’t profess to be, but through a devastating illness which my husband is currently combating, I’ve learned that assessment is key to everything. The assessment that my husband’s doctors and nurses speak of is that of learning about your own norms by following a road map and listening to your body. So this year, I’m challenging myself to actually learn something about my own norms, to “look under the hood of my engine” so to speak. I’m making my first attempt to understand how I run.
Last week, I had my annual physical. Although I get blood work done every year or so, this was the first time I requested a hard copy of my lab results. I also requested that my physician walk me through the results. He consented, and was happy to empower me to learn about the person whom I think I’ve known all too well for many-a year now. This was a valuable lesson. Having seen the same physician for years, he told me how my norms have been running for everything from blood sugar to iron, from blood pressure to cholesterol, both good and bad. I asked about hemoglobin, thyroid, and Vitamin D. And the list didn’t stop there.
I feel as though for the very first time, I’ve practiced the best prevention method: understanding. Not only did my physician take the time to teach, I became an inquisitive student. I followed up his assessment by utilizing a primer I found on the New York Times which allows the user to look at blood counts and understand what they mean. This served as a great follow up to help me interpret my test results.
As we continue to drown in this information age, it’s easy to get lost between multiple health blogs, hundreds of internet sites, and countless medical apps. The daily bombardment of drug advertisements and the conflicting (but well intentioned) studies about medical tests can be confusing at best. Ironically, the very best person to advise us, our doctor, is now more likely to spend less time with each and every patient. This is especially why we all need to get acquainted with ourselves, know our baselines and understand what they mean. How else will we recognize a change of status if and when a change happens?
Of course, when you’re sick, knowledge is power. But I’ve just learned that knowledge is power when you’re healthy as well.
I admit that I sometimes have to drag myself to a yoga class (please don’t tell my yoga teacher mother), but I always feel better after the class and grateful that I made the choice.
It seems like there is always something I should be doing other than taking some yoga class. That is certainly not the feeling when I finish each class. Now there is a study for me and others to look at to keep us going back to those classes. Seems like a good downward facing dog pose can actually boost our frame of mind.
If fact, a study from Boston University School of Medicine found that yoga boosted mood more effectively than walking. This study was recently released in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Doing an hour of yoga three times a week for 12 weeks increased GABA levels by 13 percent, as measured in the study’s healthy participants right after a session. GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain, is lower in people who are depressed. Levels rise with the use of meds. The walkers showed no significant increase in GABA levels.
Author of this study is Chris Streeter, MD. He says “This is the first study to find behavioral intervention. Yoga in this case. Yoga has an effect on brain chemistry similar to that of antidepressants”
Wow! I guess I won’t be so reluctant about going to a yoga classes anymore, no matter how busy I get.
By Michael Thomas Masters
At 80 million strong, and with plenty of oomph, the baby boomers generation is the largest in American history.
The forthcoming holidays and New Year are customary times for all people, especially the vast population of baby boomers, to contemplate on our futures. All baby boomers have experienced many winter holiday moons past.
Nevertheless, a particular segment of baby boomers with valid concerns and insights that are often over-looked (or completely ignored) in regards to aging, in both print and visual media, are the millions of American gay baby boomers who are 50 plus. In addition to our being largely over-looked in regards to our aging needs and concerns, we repeatedly also experience increased bias and discrimination, which is of great concern.
One of the few films that deal with the lives of elder gays, “An Empty Bed” (1989), reflects on the grace, struggle and honesty of aging.
In these obstinate and challenging economic times, no baby boomers needs, nor deserves, additional unfair worry and stress reaped upon us, due to our sexual orientation, especially at this festive time of the year. After all, trimming holiday trees, creating fabulous dinners, sharing gatherings with loved-ones, gift giving and spreading good cheer applies to everyone. Above all, I love selecting a gorgeous pine tree to decorate and addressing and mailing holiday cards.
Good, affordable and just healthcare and retirement should be available to all of us, particularly as we grow older. However, it is not.
In fact, California is the only state with a law saying the gay elderly have special needs, like other members of minority groups. A new law encourages training for employees and contractors who work with the elderly and permits state financing of projects like gay senior centers.
“Out and Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian and Gay Baby Boomers,” (which can be found at: www.maturemarketinstitute.com under “What’s New”) is the first national survey of its kind that found more than a quarter of gay American polled (twenty-seven per cent) feared discrimination as we age. Less than half-expressed confidence that health care professionals will treat them with “dignity and respect.”
Fears of insensitive and discriminatory treatment are particularly strong among lesbians.
It has been reported that lesbians are more troubled than gay men about their financial stability as they age and report being less financially set for retirement. On the other hand, gay men are more likely (than gay women) to be concerned with being alone (43% versus 36%).
On a positive side for LGBT baby boomers (as well as for all adult gays) in April 2010, President Obama issued an historic memorandum to help ensure equal access to hospital visits and decision-making rights for same-sex couples. It is a significant step forward for the health-care rights of gay couples.
If you are a part of a same-sex couple or marriage, and want to make the most of these protections, you will need visitation forms to make certain your family and friends can visit you, as well as a health care proxy and living will. In doing so, this will ensure that those who know you the best can make medical decisions on your behalf in an emergency.
Furthermore, President Obama ordered hospitals participating in Medicare or Medicaid to ensure that all patients’ advance directives, which include appointing someone to make healthcare decisions if necessary, are respected.
Discover more about this important equal rights process, and to download sample forms, go to, http://www.hrc.org/issues/protect-your-visitation-and-decision-making- rights.htm
Another great resource for Gay Baby Boomers is the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network (LGAIN), which is a constituent group of the American Society on Aging. The organization raises awareness about the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders and about the unique barriers they encounter in gaining access to housing, healthcare, long-term care and other needed services.
Let us not give up, or let up, until excellent, fair and affordable healthcare is available for all baby boomers (and all Americans) alike.
Happy and healthy holidays with a fulfilling and successful New Year, filled with immense oomph and joy, for everyone!
Michael Thomas Masters can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org