Ten Million ‘Zoomers’ Want Respect! PDF Print E-mail

Sample ImageYesterday the new issue of CARP magazine arrived in the mail. I was interested to see that they were doing an article on ‘Zoomers’. Of course, all readers of the Seniors CHOICE are already familiar with that term. We know that ‘Zoomers’, retired or otherwise, have the body of a 65 year old, the brain of a 45 year old and the heart of a teenager.  The Okanagan area is filled with just such people, who are busy reinventing what it means to be older and changing the face of retirement completely.

CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons) is worth joining as they publish six good issues a year and have a website full of useful information, although their website is not as entertaining as ours!
  Tucked away in their articles on health and investing was the simple statement that there are now more than 10 million Canadians aged 50 and older. We not only widely outnumber all the other age groups we have more than 70 percent of all savings and account for more than half of all consumer spending. So, we may well ask, why are we not being taken more seriously?

With all those dollars floating around you would expect that businesses would be falling over themselves to cater to our tastes and comfort – well, you would be wrong! They seem to be catering to the 10-25 age group instead, which is odd as this group has no money! Take TV programs, for example. If you can name more than six current shows that actually attract viewers in the Zoomer category, then I’m coming over to see what you’re watching! To be honest I’m really not sure just who the TV producers are targeting with all these reality shows and endless variations on Crime Scenes. How many more shows dealing with forensic science can the mind absorb? Is there to be no end to the talent hunts and dancing celebrities?  Just who decided that watching Donald Trump (who does his hair, anyway?) insult and humiliate people constituted entertainment?
    So, go to the movies or rent a DVD you say.  Don’t get out much, do you?  Out of curiosity I did a brief and not very scientific survey of the titles available in my local movie rental outlet and I invite anyone to try this and test my results. I found that over 60% of the movies available came with a warning about violence, graphic language and/or explicit sex scenes. Speaking for myself, I have seen all the car chases I ever want to see and if I never watch another building explode or see another body blown to bits I can live with that.

  Where are the movies that involve good writing? Films where plot actually matters and characters are real? They are out there, as we know from reading the offerings of the film festivals. Thoughtful and provocative films are being produced that deal with important issues but you won’t find any of these at your local movie rental. Do the managers of these stores never wonder why older people don’t use their memberships? I have spent hours of my life searching the shelves for a movie to rent, only to leave empty handed time and again. The entertainment industry does not seem to realize that Zoomers are part of the generation that still reads books. We have certain standards and we expect shows to have a point.  Watching the fish swim around the aquarium provides more real entertainment than most of what is on TV today.

   Fortunately there is a plus side to this entertainment wasteland. People are taking up bridge, whist, curling, bowling, painting, etc in great numbers. Senior centres are busy places and night school classes are more full than ever before. I see a correlation here! The other plus, of course, is that bookstores in Canada, with the exception of Calgary, are doing a brisk business.
You’ll be pleased to know that book prices are coming down as well, but the Okanagan area is blessed with several very good used book stores that seem to have titles almost as current as Chapters, so no one needs to spend a fortune to get hours of good entertainment. These are also great places to pick up bags of books to have on hand for times when the grandchildren are visiting. You can buy stacks of children’s books, see which ones are successful, then return the others and exchange them for more – all for a very reasonable price.

  Now that you have stocked up on reading material you’ll be ready for a nice meal and some quiet conversation with friends and family – well, good luck! Once again the restaurants, like the movies, seem to think only people between 10-25 need to be catered to – but, they are not paying the bill! Zoomers do not want to be served enough food to feed three people. Plates piled high with cheap carbs buried in tomato sauce – no thanks. Normally the restaurants that offer a ‘senior special’ think we want fish and chips today, tomorrow and forever! We’ve been eating pizza and burgers with fries for over 30 years – we’re ready for something fresh and we want something healthy as well as delicious. It would be a nice bonus if the awful background music was kept low and the seats were comfortable – but we’ll attack this reformation one step at a time.

  We’ve done the work, we’ve earned the money – now we want the respect!

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