Posted: January 30th, 2011 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
There is no question that JBoomers are using social media. We all have email and many of us have facebook and twitter accounts. The following is a study done by the Pew Foundation on how Seniors are using social media. What is true for seniors is doubly true for JBoomers.
Take a look at some of the hard data on this subject.
Seniors increasingly read news online, use social media to stay connected
by Adam Hochberg Published Dec. 29, 2010 7:06 am Updated Dec. 30, 2010 8:50 am
By her own admission, Mary Dysart Quint wastes too much time on Facebook. The Pittsfield, Maine resident logs on to the social networking site three or four times a day to chat with friends and family, share links to news stories, and post comments about TV shows and current events.
None of which would be unusual except for the fact that Quint is 78 years old.
“Being a widow is a lonely life, and I get companionship that way,” said Quint, a retired propane dealer whose Facebook page lists 88 friends, including most of her seven children. In recent months, Quint used her Facebook wall to comment on Tiger Woods’ golf game and Chelsea Clinton’s wedding dress, congratulate her granddaughter for graduating from college, and write about her 60th high school class reunion.
“It’s just a way to keep in touch,” Quint said in a phone interview. “I keep track of everybody that way.”
Quint is among a growing number of seniors who are discovering social networking. While younger people still greatly outnumber their elders on sites like Facebook, Myspace, and LinkedIn, a new study shows older generations have begun to catch up.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that people 74 and older represent the fastest growing demographic on the sites. Sixteen percent of Internet users in that age group now visit them, compared with four percent in 2008.
“For people who want to have robust social lives, these are really compelling places,” said Pew Internet Center Director Lee Rainie. “We hear directly out of the mouths of senior citizens that they get enchanted when they log on to Facebook and fill in their profile, and all of a sudden, their suggestion page starts populating with folks from their past.”
A connection for the isolated
Of course, retirees are far outside the stereotypical image of social networkers. (Earlier this year, 88-year-old comedienne Betty White got a lot of laughs professing her ignorance of Facebook on “Saturday Night Live.”) But senior citizens’ embrace of the Web and social networking shouldn’t be surprising.
Older people already are large consumers of media. They’re more likely than younger folks to read a daily newspaper and watch network television newscasts. And while seniors were relatively slow to discover the Internet, they tend to use it extensively once they become comfortable with it.
“Our demographic follows the trends. We’re just later to do so,” said Nataki Clarke, the vice president for digital marketing at AARP — the nonprofit advocacy organization for people 50 and over.
AARP’s Facebook page has more than 20,000 followers, and the organization this year revamped its own website to create a social networking platform specifically for its members.
“As we age, we tend to become more isolated, and I think social networking helps alleviate that,” Clarke said. “It connects you not only to your friends and family, but to other people who are going through similar issues and have similar memories as you.”
The AARP site hosts more than 900 discussion groups — created by users themselves — where members post comments about news, politics, music, investments, relationships and other subjects.
Many of the groups have what AARP would call a “mature” tinge. One exists solely to allow users to share cute photos of their grandchildren. Another is for fans of movies made before 1960. And more than a hundred concern health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, and cancer.
“For older folks who are not feeling terribly well, social networking spaces are particularly useful to get emotional support and practical advice about how to cope with what they’re dealing with,” said Rainie, the Pew Center director.
Rainie said most seniors — like the rest of the population — do their social networking on Facebook. In fact, it’s an open question whether a market exists for other platforms targeted specifically at older users.
AARP said its website’s traffic increased significantly after the social networking section debuted in June. But several free-standing sites for seniors have failed, and eons.com — a networking site for “boomers” older than 46 — last month laid off most of its staff.
“Madison Avenue still is focused oftentimes on the younger generation,” said Eons Chief Operating Officer Linda Natansohn, who added that her company is working to persuade advertisers to reach out to older demographics online. “This group has two trillion dollars in disposable income,” she said, “and they are very Web savvy.”
Eons also operates a separate dating site for the over-40 set, meetcha.com. But its most popular site is tributes.com — which features a different kind of content that appeals to an aging audience — online obituaries.
Still reading the paper
In addition to noting the increase in social networking among seniors, the Pew study also found a growing number of older people view news online — slightly more than half of Internet users 74 and up.
Yet unlike younger generations, seniors also are likely to still read a daily newspaper and watch television news, even as they spend more time in front of their computers.
“It’s still pretty new for the older demographic,” Rainie said of the Web, “and so they’re trying to figure out how to incorporate it into their media use. It tends to be complementary, supplementary, and additive rather than something that displaces something else.”
In that respect, Mary Dysart Quint — the Maine retiree — is typical of her age group. While Facebook has been a regular part of her life for more than a year, she said she still spends about 90 minutes every day with her morning paper. (Almost two-thirds of seniors still read a daily newspaper, more than any other demographic.)
“I’ve been reading the newspaper since I was six or seven years old,” Quint said. “I like to see the pictures and read the comics. That’s the first thing I do in the day.”
Quint also is skeptical that social media will get much more popular among her contemporaries. Though Facebook already has hundreds of elderly users (I first located Quint on a page dedicated to finding the oldest person on Facebook), she’s encountered resistance to technology among her fellow septuagenarians.
“Most of my classmates are afraid of Facebook or even a computer,” she wrote on her page the weekend of her high school reunion. “Shame on them. You’re never too old to learn something new.”
Posted: January 25th, 2011 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
JBoomers will have many opportunities for members to participate in Tikkun Olam service. We are just beginning to work on establishing links with ongoing programs and organizations. Below is an article by Jon Rosenberg of Repair the World. I think you will find it interesting.
Jon Rosenberg Wants ‘Service’ to be Central to Jewish Identity
January 21, 2011
from New Jersey Jewish News:
A lawyer and ‘quick study’ sets out to repair the world
When Repair the World’s board hired Jon Rosenberg of Montclair as its CEO 18 months ago, they tossed out the traditional idea of putting a rabbi or seasoned Jewish communal worker at the head of a Jewish not-for-profit organization.
… Repair the World, with headquarters in New York City, takes over where its predecessor, the Jewish Coalition for Service, left off. That organization, which was founded about eight years ago, said Rosenberg, was basically a clearinghouse for service projects that also marketed opportunities and did some best practices work.
The new organization has a more ambitious agenda. RTW focuses on raising the bar for Jewish service learning by offering best practices from the field, funding research on what works, providing grants to service learning programs, creating partnerships with like-minded organizations, and creating and possibly incubating new models.
Its projects include a national Jewish Service Search Engine and placing service coordinators on college campuses.
The organization’s mission is to make service a defining part of Jewish life.
Rosenberg’s goal? “Every Jewish young adult will have a mandatory year of service — it will be considered normal, as a gap year, summer, post-college, or semester to take a deep dive into service as a kind of rite of passage,” he said. “Jews will meet and say, ‘Where did you do your service?’”
Check out our link to Repair The World.org
Posted: January 19th, 2011 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
JBoomers are all concerned about their physical well being. A great book to read on this matter is: Younger Next Year by Crhis Crowley and Harry Lodge. I urge you to read it and to start following their advice.
For excercise they recommend indoor cycling…..or, Spinning. Here is an article describing the benefits of spinning. Enjoy!
INDOOR CYCLING (AKA SPINNING)
by: Jack McCombs
Indoor cycling (aka spinning) is a wonderful way to gain and maintain fitness; but its not for the faint of heart or ill-conditioned. When I joined the YMCA in 2004 I saw posters for Indoor Cycling classes, but wasnt interested in it as I was told it was very difficult and only younger people enjoyed it. Then I read Younger Next Year in 2005 and decided to try it. Although I had become well conditioned after swimming and lifting weights for a year I was literally shocked by my first spin class experience. Chris Crowleys description of his first spin experience was both funny and right on target for me. Like him, as soon as the class was over (and I didnt think I was going to be able to get off the bike), I showered (very slowly) and went home and straight to bed! However, like Chris, I persevered and continued to attend spin classes three times/week for an hour each class, but a big change occurred. No longer did I go home to bed after spin class, but rather my energy levels increased and my mental attitude seemed better, recognizing of course that I was also swimming, lifting weights, and riding my bike outdoors so undoubtedly all these activities were contributing to my much improved health.
I was so very pleased with the impact of indoor cycling on my physical and psychological health that I thought the same benefits could be realized by other seniors. In early 2006 I talked with the Executive Director of our YMCA about starting a spin class for members aged 50 or more. She strongly supported the concept so I wrote a training plan for the program, which detailed how I was going to lead seniors in this new program that I titled Silver Riders. These were the key components of the plan: (a) candidates had to be healthy enough to spin to include if there was the slightest doubt that they would consult their family physician, (b) there would be two classes/week, (c) the program would last eight weeks with the first weeks classes being 20 minutes, (d) each successive week over the eight weeks the duration would increase by 5 minutes until 55 minutes was reached, (e) intensity would also increase from low to high over the same eight week period, (f) I would script every song so that I was assured there was adequate recovery to balance intense spinning as well as time in the saddle and standing.
Im now into my third Beginners Silver Riders indoor cycling class. This class, like the two previous classes, has been conducted according to the training plan discussed above. At the conclusion of each Beginners Class we have a graduation with diplomas being presented by our YMCAs Executive Director. At that point the graduates are capable of attending other standing spin classes or joining my Advanced Silver Riders spin class that is held twice a week for 60 minutes and is a very intense workout (see a typical class below). Some graduates have elected to go with other spin classes as it better fits their schedules but most have elected to stay with the Advanced Silver Riders as, like me, they like the company of their peer group. I try to make all of my classes as much a social occasion as it is a fitness class, but make no mistake the Advanced Silver Riders classes are every bit as intense as other spin classes at our YMCA.
What follows is the script of a typical Advanced Silver Rider class. This class was done about two weeks ago and features some heavy interval work. I wore a heart monitor and recorded an average of 157 bpm over the hours class with a maximum of 172 bpm. These numbers are good for this time of year when I havent been done much high intensity work on my bicycle outdoors. My lactate threshold last year was 161 and my maximum heart rate was 181, which was registered during a very intense 23 mile time trial last July. Im not going to provide details on the benefits of interval workouts as a lot of information is available that provides the science and the benefits (just Google lactate threshold training and youll find more information than you can read in a day). Suffice it to say for this article that intervals improve fitness, significantly aids weight loss, prevents boredom from infecting your workouts, but most of all when youre done you feel like youre glowing with good physical and mental health. Be prepared to suffer some before getting to this point, but once there youll love it like I do.
As stated previously I script all songs in my classes to include using a lot of mental imagery to spice up the workout. If you havent participated in a spin class do so. Its a great workout, its fun, your sense of accomplishment will be immense, and as I say to my classes a lot, your heart and lungs are looking up at your brain saying THANK YOU, THANK YOU!.
The Outer Banks, NC
If you visit the Outer Banks and are a YMCA member come take my class. Im confident youll love it; alternatively, bring your bike and well ride outside (10 to 150 miles your choice).
I asked some of my spinners (all seniors) to write a few sentences on Silver Riders Indoor Cycling classes. Those comments, as well as comments by our YMCAs Executive Director follow (all are verbatim quotes):
Jack first introduced me to “Younger Next Year” and then to spinning. Your book ((YNY)) emphasized how important it is for me to exercise as I age. I am not, nor ever have been, an athlete; so getting into an exercise program was a big deal. The “Silver Riders” program created by Jack was perfect. He started us slowly, increasing the time and effort as the classes progressed. The variety of pace and music keeps the classes interesting. Now that I am in his ‘advanced’ class, I love it. Jack pushes us as he sets a great example. The spinning plus water aerobics will hopefully make me “Younger”! Barb N. (65)
Although I have been exercising on a stationary bike for 20 years, averaging 10 miles five days a week, the Silver Riders’ Spin Class has increased my stamina and my energy level is much improved. The class is exhilarating and fun and I highly recommend it for all seniors. Jane K (61)
When we first started with the Silver Riders in late spring of 06, the 1st class was for 20 minutes and increased in 5 minute increments each succeeding class. We had two classes each week. At the beginning of each class, we both would say to each other “well I will never finish the class this time!” But 5 minutes into it, we were going for broke “. The more we sweated, the more we liked it. Bill & Dee G. (ages 79 & almost 76)
The senior program of spinning offered us an opportunity to try it without becoming intimidated by jumping into a regular class which I had concern about being able to keep up. Through the class we mastered spinning and we were even able to loose some weight which is the main objective, not to mention some of the social contacts that were made in the class. Dennis and Joan (ages 68 and ??)
Spinning is a fun way to exercise, especially when you have an instructor such as Jack who makes each class an exciting adventure. Sherman P. ( age 69) Janet P. age (68)
When Jack McCombs approached me with the idea of a spin program for adults 50 years and older I thought it was a great proposal but I had no idea it would be as successful and attract as many adults as it has. The Silver Riders spin classes have proven to be a huge asset to our YMCA. Prior to these classes many of our age 50 and older members would come to the YMCA and participate in one activity, either a water exercise class or a walk on the treadmill or maybe even lift a few weights. Now these same adults are engaged in our YMCA, participating in multiple YMCA programs and activities. They have formed very strong friendships with one another, each being able to celebrate the great spirit of accomplishment. These spin classes have been the conduit for many of our members to experience the true essence of the YMCA mission by developing a healthy spirit, mind and body. I could not be more proud of Jack and the silver spin program and the value they being to our YMCA family.
Sheila Foster Davies
Outer Banks YMCA
Kill Devil Hills, the Outer Banks, NC
Posted: January 14th, 2011 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
The following post comes from Rabbi Richard F. Address, D. Min., a JBoomers board member. He wrote this article for his site Jewish Sacred Aging. Enjoy reading it.
Start spreading the news….!
Actually, the census has already done that.
As of January 1, 2011 (that is like NOW), one Baby Boomer in the USA will turn 65 every 8 seconds! How is that for a way to welcome in 2011?
The aging of the baby boomer generation is now in full swing and, as we are beginning to see, the pundits and experts are beginning to take notice. The discussions on entitlements will be revved up in the coming years as we begin to contemplate our own need to tap into them and worry if our children will have the same luxury (or ability).
Yet, so many of us are working and have no plans to stop. We may have plans to transition into something new, but, stopping work is becoming more challenging as the economy struggles to rebound. Likewise, we are still facing many challenges that the longevity revolution has wrought. I have plenty of company in the extended role of care-giver, which has become a new life stage.
The new year also brings with us a slew of new laws. One that has particular meaning and importance for us is the provision that physicians will be compensated for wellness visits. (See this article from the Palm Beach Post). The boomer emphasis on staying young, keeping fit and healthy had much to do with this, I think. The provision also asks that my doctor begin a conversation with me regarding end of life issues. For some strange and bizarre reason, this provision has been attacked by conservative thinkers. Why, I cannot understand.
Not only should my doctor begin these conversations, but, I believe that every synagogue MUST, on an annual basis, have a major program that deals with this issue.
How does Judaism understand end of life decision making? What do the texts teach us? How much autonomy do I really have within Jewish thought? Is human life an absolute value? Are there limits or times when the “mitzvah” may really be to allow a life to end in dignity and sanctity? Is pain and suffering a value to be upheld within Jewish life? These are questions that every rabbi has been asked; and with the spread of technology and the longevity of our lives, they will be asked with greater frequency.
There already are many resources to guide these discussions. Our own A Time to Prepare is a document that helps guide a person through what Reform tradition says, and includes forms for advance directives and health care power of attorney.
Each denomination has a similar document. It is no longer an option for your congregation to do this program. It is more essential than ever and can, in a very real way, help people navigate what if for many, a difficult journey.
I hope that this new year of 2011 brings to each of you a year of great joy and peace and health.. I also encourage you to ask you congregation or community to schedule this conversation for sometime in the next few months.
Rabbi Richard F Address, D.Min
Posted: January 6th, 2011 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
On Sunday February 13th JBoomers will gather at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in lower Manhattan for a guided tour of their exhibits: “Mah-Jongg” and “Fire in My Heart:The Story of Hannah Senesh”. After viewing the exhibits we will have lunch and then a discussion about how JBoomers can engage Jewish Baby Boomers .
The Details: Date: February 13, 2011
Time:12 noon – 3 pm at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, lower Manhattan.
Cost: $28 includes private guided tour of the two exhibits and a box lunch. This event is not tax deductible.
Please register for the event by sending an email to email@example.com
Pre-Passover Cooking Demonstration & Exhibition
On April 10th, at 1 pm, JBoomers are invited to gather at the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts in Brooklyn for a very special “hands on” cooking class taught by the most talented kosher chefs in New York. Each participant will receive a recipe packet and a complimentary CKCA spatula.
Cost: $36 per person + a donation to either Mazon or the JDC (at whatever level you choose).
This will be a very special event…..limited to 20 people. More details to follow.
Watch for an Evite to both of these events with instructions on how to register and pay for the events.
Posted: January 1st, 2011 | Author: Jerry Weider | Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »
In case you missed it, the NYTimes had a front page article on Baby Boomers in it’s January 1, 2011 edition.
Here is that article for your consideration.
Boomers Hit New Self-Absorption Milestone: Age 65
By DAN BARRY
In keeping with a generation’s fascination with itself, the time has come to note the passing of another milestone: On New Year’s Day, the oldest members of the Baby Boom Generation will turn 65, the age once linked to retirement, early bird specials and gray Velcro shoes that go with everything.
Though other generations, from the Greatest to the Millennial, may mutter that it’s time to get over yourselves, this birthday actually matters. According to the Pew Research Center, for the next 19 years, about 10,000 people “will cross that threshold” every day — and many of them, whether through exercise or Botox, have no intention of ceding to others what they consider rightfully theirs: youth.
This means that the 79 million baby boomers, about 26 percent of this country’s population, will be redefining what it means to be older, and placing greater demands on the social safety net. They are living longer, working longer and, researchers say, nursing some disappointment about how their lives have turned out. The self-aware, or self-absorbed, feel less self-fulfilled, and thus are racked with self-pity.
So, then, to those who once never trusted anyone over 30: Raise that bowl of high-fiber granola, antioxidant-rich blueberries and skim milk and give yourself a Happy Birthday toast.
“The stork’s 1946 diaper derby left a controversy today that rocked the cradles from coast to coast,” The Associated Press reported 65 years ago. “The maternal question of the moment was: Who was the first baby born in the new year?”
The wire service named several contenders, from a newborn girl named Darleen in Los Angeles to a baby boy named James in St. Louis — to the infant identified only as “the son of Mr. and Mrs. Aloysius Nachreiner, of Buffalo.” Readers of that news item could not help wondering:
What is to come of this son of Buffalo? Who will he be?
The Nachreiner boy, along with these other bundles of innocence, were the very first of what has come to be known, rather graphically, as the “pig in the python.” After the travails and absences of the Depression and World War II flattened the birthrate, the promise and prosperity of the postwar years created a sharp rise in births that lasted from 1946 until 1964, when the popularity of birth control pills helped stem the tide.
Ascribing personality traits to a bloc of 79 million people is a fool’s endeavor. For one thing, people born in 1964 wouldn’t know the once-ubiquitous television hero Sky King if he landed his trusty Songbird on their front lawns, just as people born in 1946 wouldn’t quite know what to make of one of Sky King’s successors, the big-headed H. R. Pufnstuf.
For another, the never-ending celebration of the hippie contingent of boomers tends to overshadow the Young Americans for Freedom contingent. After all, while some boomers were trying to “levitate” the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War, other boomers were fighting in that war.
Steven M. Gillon, the author of “Boomer Nation: The Largest and Richest Generation Ever and How It Changed America” (Simon & Shuster, 2004), warns against generalizing about baby boomers, especially when it concerns politics. Still, he says, the boomer generation, of which he is a member, clearly changed our world. Here’s a simple generalization — that is, explanation — of how:
Previous generations were raised to speak only when spoken to, and to endure in self-denying silence. But baby boomers were raised on the more nurturing, child-as-individual teachings of Dr. Benjamin Spock, and then placed under the spell of television, whose advertisers marketed their wares directly to children. Parents were cut out of the sale — except, of course, for the actual purchase of that coonskin cap or Barbie doll.
“It created a sense of entitlement that had not existed before,” Mr. Gillon said. “We became more concerned with our own emotional well-being, whereas to older generations that was considered soft and fluffy.”
The boomers may not have created rock ’n’ roll, but they certainly capitalized on its potential to revolt against parents. And they may not have led the civil rights movement, but they embraced it — at least, many of them did — and applied its principles to fighting for the rights of women and gay men and lesbians. They came to expect, even demand, freedom of choice; options in life.
“But the pig has moved through the python, and is moving to the final stage,” Mr. Gillon said. “And we won’t describe what that stage is.”
Here is an attempt: retirement, old age, then a release to a place where the celestial Muzak plays a never-ending loop of the Doobie Brothers.
About 13 percent of the population today is 65 or older; by 2030, when the last of the baby boomers are 65, that rate will have grown to 18 percent. In addition to testing the sustainability of entitlement programs like Social Security, this wholesale redefinition of old age may also include a pervading sense that life has been what might technically be called a “bummer.”
A study by two sociologists, Julie Phillips of Rutgers University and Ellen Idler of Emory University, indicates that the suicide rate for middle-aged people, notably baby boomers without college degrees, rose from 1999 to 2005. And Paul Taylor, the executive vice president of the Pew Center, summed up a recent survey of his generation this way:
“We’re pretty glum.”
This gloominess appears to be linked to the struggling economy, the demands of middle age and a general sense of lofty goals not met by the generation that once sang of teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony, and then buying it a Coke.
No one person can represent all 79 million members of a generation. But perhaps one person can remind us of the small epiphanies and private pains that define all generations.
Remember the son of Mr. and Mrs. Aloysius Nachreiner, the first baby born in Buffalo in 1946, thus making him one of the country’s first baby boomers? Well, his parents named him Aloysius, too — though he was often called Butch.
His father was a bagger at a feed mill; his mother raised their three children in the first floor of a rented duplex. When he was 5 years old, he was blinded in his left eye during a snowball fight with his friend Billy. He liked watching Roy Rogers and Howdy Doody on the family’s round, black-and-white television, and rooted hard for Mickey Mantle.
Al, or Butch, graduated from a vocational school with plans to become an auto mechanic, but that never happened. He wound up making his career as a setup man and press operator for a folding box company.
He married an older woman named Alice, a widow with seven children who loved Elvis Presley. They had two daughters, but one died of crib death. They bought a house in a Buffalo neighborhood nicknamed Iron Island because it was surrounded by railroad tracks.
He played fast-pitch softball for many years, pitching for who knows how many bars and taverns, but gave it up a few years ago because his knees would hurt for days after a game.
Two years ago, two days after their 40th wedding anniversary, his Alice died, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She left him with two dozen grandchildren and a half-dozen or so great-grandchildren. “As long as they all don’t come over at once, it’s all right,” he says, laughing.
Mr. Nachreiner still works, making boxes from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., five days a week. In his free time, he roots for the hapless Buffalo Bills, uses his computer — “though I’m not very good at it” — and, when not visiting family, relaxes at home with his Jack Russell terrier, Trixie, where a portrait of Elvis hangs on the wall.
He does not devote much time to pondering the traits of his generation, or his status as an early baby boomer, or even the fact that come New Year’s Day he will turn 65. What he says of it all is what all those baby boomers behind him hope to say one day:
“I made it.”
Jack Begg contributed research.