Don’t forget the baby boomers

Joan Butler
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I am one of the thousands of baby boomers living here in Conception Bay South and starting to realize how this segment of our population is being ignored when it comes to programs and services in our community.

The realization of just how insignificant we are really hit home in the past few weeks when I started paying attention to the election campaign and what the various candidates have claimed to have achieved, or what they are hoping to do if they get elected.

A couple of candidates have promised more emphasis on seniors or programs and services for all ages. Another potential councillor refers to health and well-being for the 50-plus residents.

At least these few candidates recognize that we are a viable force, and that we constitute 30 per cent of the population in our town and the country.

Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1965 and there are many of us here in C.B.S. There are more to come to the town as hundreds who went away for work are now returning and moving into new homes.

This segment of the population is healthier, richer and more educated than our parents. We want to lead active and healthy lives and be near major services and amenities — thus the reason many are living in C.B.S. and surrounding metro area.

Because of the election campaign, I started looking at what programs and services are available for us baby boomers. I was surprised by what I found, or did not find, here in C.B.S.

I am not looking for healthy living and fitness programs for older adults in wealthy cities and towns in Alberta and Ontario. I am talking about catching up with places like Holyrood or Paradise, which both offer a variety of health and fitness programs for their 50-plus population.

C.B.S., with about 8,000 people older than 50, appears to lag behind these communities in services for this age group.

Yes, there is a regular 50-plus bus tour to places around the region. The pool has some adult swimming programs and shallow-water fitness.

There is a 50-plus club that operates out of Worsley Park, but what they offer is not found on the town’s website or any printed program guides.

The C.B.S. Recreation Complex does not appear to have any town-organized fitness or wellness programs for adults of any age.

It is ironic that the majority of the candidates who are running in next week’s municipal election are baby boomers, or even older. Why is it that they seem to focus on children and youth, and not recognize that there is 30 per cent of the population that needs more attention?

The town’s recreational facilities — pool, soccer and ball fields, stadium, and parks and playgrounds — are all designed with children and youth in mind.

The town’s recreation and leisure services department offers Christmas, Easter and summer camps, which are focused almost exclusively on children.

We have a youth advisory council to provide input into programs and services for this age group. Why not a similar advisory council for baby boomers?   

I am not suggesting that children and youth programs be curtailed for adults, but that our town recognize we baby boomers want and expect more. We want what others in the region have realized is important to serve the growing, older population.

We should have fitness programs, healthy living programs, computer classes, art workshops and, most of all, recognition that we are a vital part of our community.

Joan Butler is a lifelong resident of Kelligrews,

Conception Bay South. She can be reached by email at joanbutler@ymail.com.

Geographic location: C.B.S., C.B.S.I, Alberta Ontario Holyrood Worsley Park Kelligrews

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  • Julie
    September 19, 2013 - 10:12

    I just read an article yesterday about how marketing to and targeting baby boomers is front and center for many major corporations and organizations. And that they have not figured out how to do it effectively. One of the areas that I think would be of interest to boomers is retirement planning. Apparently many boomers do not do it. And many organizations would probably benefit from looking at providing services in this area. I recently found the site Retirement And Good Living that offers good information on a variety of retirement topics including health/fitness, nutrition, finances and more that may be of interest to boomers. I never understand why more people do not take advantage of information on these type of sites. In most cases it is free.

  • Kev
    September 19, 2013 - 09:08

    You want a 50-plus club? Start one. No one is stopping you.

  • roy
    September 19, 2013 - 08:49

    This council, although they have done a considerable amount of work for CBS or at least have spent a lot of our tax dollars as Joan has said they have forgotten the people who built this town. The seniors who live on the byroads, not in subdivisions, who don't have good roads to drive on and nowhere to walk if they want to . Those who have been taxed on property they spent years to aquire and who now live on fixed incomes, while their property is assed as if they were earning the same as those now in the workforce. I guess this council would like to see them sell their property force them out of the town they built.Off course theseniors are foregotten, but remember one thing election time is comming. If youn are not satisfied then vote, let the present council know how you feel.

  • Calvin
    September 19, 2013 - 07:40

    You said it yourself Joan, you are richer, healthier and more educated than your parents. So why are you complaining about not having community programs setup to keep you occupied? As far as I know, there are walking and hiking trails throughout CBS and the rest of the metro area free to use. There are gyms to use, and seems how you have all this expendable income, go join one like the 20-40 year olds are doing. Sports facilities are available to rent, pools have free swims that everyone can participate in, golf courses love the baby boomers..... must I go on? Baby boomers have this entitled attitude because you make up such a large portion of the population.