Ok, everyone can relax. This isn’t an impromptu history class, and you won’t be tested at the end of this column…except for maybe your patience.
Every now and then I’m asked to do an article for the Prime Time Section of the Press ¬-- a section targeted to those of us in our “prime” and over the age of 50...or 60...or…
So I find myself asking, “Self, how do I write something that is relevant to 50-plusers, those in their 60s and, well you know, those who say, “age is but a number?”
So, this begs the burning question, “who is a senior citizen and when do we officially attain this lofty pinnacle of life?” Good question - and one, it seems, with no definitive answer. Seems we’re a “senior” at different ages, and in different venues – I guess it depends on who you ask.
So here is my, albeit somewhat tongue-in-cheek, take from a “senior” point of view.
First, some interesting statistics:
• Approximately 18 percent of those living in Northwest Ohio are 60 years old or older;
• Lucas County boasts the largest population of those 60-plus years old at just over 77,000;
• AARP issues their cards to those 50 and over;
• You can get your Golden Buckeye Card once you’ve reached 60;
• Some grocery stores and markets have “Senior Days” once or twice a month, which offer seniors discounted prices on groceries etc. Kroger offers a 5 percent discount to seniors every Wednesday.
• Some fast food outlets give “seniors” free small coffee or a free small ice cream with their “regular” priced meals;
• Seniors can obtain coupons/vouchers for fresh produce through the Area Office on Aging, which requires application; some restrictions apply.
• Most golf courses have “senior rates” but are restricted to specific times of the day and in many cases times only those “retired seniors” could take advantage of.
I don’t know about you, but I’m the same age every night when I go to bed as when I wake up in the morning. So how come so many places only recognize “seniors” at only certain times or on certain days? Lest we forget, the senior population is very rapidly becoming the largest sector of the U.S. population.
Now there is at least one consumer establishment that recognizes seniors as seniors 24/7; Rave Motion Pictures at Franklin Park, Levis Commons and the Shops at Fallen Timbers. I can get discounted “senior” tickets ($7.75 vs. $10+ regular admission). Now, if we can just get them to give seniors a bit of a break on the concessions.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some wonderful benefits available for seniors. One only need to check out the AOoA (Area Office on Aging) for some pretty terrific services etc. It seems the government agencies like the AOoA recognize seniors ‘round the clock, as opposed to many of their “commercial” counterparts.
This column was not meant as an indictment of our system, and it is not a scholarly article with a lot of evidence-based information scattered throughout - just a bit of reality-check information, which only serves to reinforce the notion that our society and culture unlike many other countries, views its senior population differently, but I suspect this will gradually change over the course of time as the “Boomers” become stronger in numbers as well as “voting prowess.”
Hang in there. As the saying goes; “we’re not getting older, we’re getting better!”