The senior citizens of tomorrow won’t be your fathers’ oldsters. The baby boomers are coming and they’re going to want a whole different set of services and opportunities as they retire compared to the generation before them.
Remember, this is the Woodstock and Summer of Love generation.
To talk about the issue of the changing senior demographic. The Phoebe Institute on Aging of Allentown is having its spring conference on the topic of “Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll: Baby Boomers and Aging.”
And the institute has landed a lauded expert to talk about the issue, 91-year-old, author, professor, lecturer and former talk-show host Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who will talk frankly about the role of sexuality in aging.
“They are a different demographic and they are asking for what they want,” said Donna Schudel, community relations specialist for Phoebe Ministries. “They aren’t what we considered the silent generation before them. This isn’t a topic we can shy away from.”
The conference, which is scheduled for April 23 and will be held at the ArtsQuest Center in Bethlehem, will address the different issues businesses who serve the elderly will face as the more than 70 million baby boomers age into the system.
“Some people are calling it the gray tsunami,” Schudel said.
She said Phoebe is currently developing its planned Rodale residential campus and is trying to be forward thinking about what the needs and desires of elderly baby boomers will be as they plan it, but it’s an issue that cuts across many different industries from housing to drugs to entertainment.
“These people aren’t the Frank Sinatra generation, they’re more the Beatles,” she said.
Issues ranging from in-home care services to medical, and maybe even recreational marijuana use will need to be addressed.
The conference is open to the public and is geared to those in the elder-services industry.
The Phoebe Institute on Aging is accepting proposals for additional sessions for this conference. Please visit www.phoebe.org/piaconference for criteria and information.