Reagan shares traits with boomers

ronald-reagan-pictureIt’s hard to generalize about 78 million people, but boomers do share some distinctive traits. As Ronald Reagan again made the news on the days leading up to his centennial celebration, it was a surprise to learn just how much this icon of the Greatest Generation had in common with the boomer generation. As a student of boomers, I was struck by the similarities and by the observation that Reagan illustrated some of the qualities that make up the largest generation in history. As a generation, boomers refuse to accept things the way they are and will change them, presumably for the better. Throughout their lives boomers have participated in tremendous changes in our society. Reagan challenged the status quo as a young boy: When a local inn would not allow black people to stay, he brought them back to his house where they spent the night. Later, as president, he signed the legislation for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Boomers have a strong work ethic. They transformed work in...

Many boomers don’t notice early signs of Alzheimer’s

alzheimersThe words of the physical therapist whirled in Alicia’s head. “Your mother is having some difficulty following directions. We are giving her verbal cues to help her stability, but she cannot remember them long enough to imbed them into her long-term memory.” Alicia recently took her 83-year old mother home to care for her after a recent fall. While her mom was improving physically, she wasn’t the same as before the fall. “It wasn’t anything I could put my finger on until the physical therapist made that comment,” Alicia said. “Then I started to put two and two together—the poor judgment Mom demonstrated that led to her fall and now this.” A volunteer at an adult day care program for those with Alzheimer’s, Alicia is better equipped than most to see early signs of dementia. So why didn’t she, of all people, recognize the signs? According to a national survey just released, a quarter of all baby boomers can’t name a single early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. These include...

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