Singing the baby boomer blues

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So you think you’re a baby boomer? Try these characteristics on for size:

-Being a boomer means 60 is the new 40.
-You’ll probably live longer than your parents, only you’ll still be on a diet in your 80s.
-Being a boomer means you still think Elvis rocks.

And there are 998 other defining traits of the generation born between 1946 and 1964, according to “1001 Things It Means to Be a Boomer Now (Well, It Is Time to Grow Up).” The miniature-sized book, written by Harry H. Harrison Jr., was recently released from Thomas Nelson, a publisher of Christian and inspirational products.

The book—which may make a good stocking stuffer (for baby boomers, of course)—offers a laundry list of funny, witty, cynical, and somewhat disturbing insights into this generation, which is known for its obsession with youth, material wealth and the wild and unbridled 1960s.

As a sign of the generation’s influence, it was ranked the most “socially conscious” of five generations, according to a recent poll by Harris Interactive. (For more on this story, go to

The book’s chapters touch on different themes, including the physical realities of aging, being single, adult rebellion and being a “boomer woman.”

Many of the entries are humorous: Being a boomer means that if and when you ever need a walker, it will be a designer color with hand brakes (No. 243).

Some may come as a surprise, such as No. 406: Being a boomer means you’re at a high risk for AIDS. In fact, boomers make up 50% of the cases.

Others are biting: Being a boomer woman means you buy clothes in order to make yourself look like your daughter (No. 784). (Ouch!)

Running throughout the book is the generation’s recognition of aging and its resistance to it:

No. 124: Being a boomer means you start rating your body parts as good or bad: “a bad shoulder,” “a bad neck,” “a good knee.”

No. 117: Being a boomer means complaining more about your health in your 50s than previous generations did.

No. 119: Being a boomer means worrying a freckle is skin cancer. And a cold is the West Nile Virus.

AND … drum roll please …

No. 237: Being a boomer means changing the channel whenever there’s a commercial for a nursing home.

After reading this book, it’s understandable if long-term care workers start hiding out under nurses’ stations. This massive health- and image-conscious generation is not likely to accept the limitations of old age quietly.

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.