Royce Shook en retired, Teachers Workshop Presenter • Costco Health and Wellness Institute 12/10/2016 · 2 min de lectura · 1,5K

Are you a Boomer or a Senior?

Boomers have always seen themselves as a unique group, we try to defy labels that define us by age or by any other term. The early boomers have reached 70 years and we see the it as the new 50. A friend of mine said that his doctor told him that a 70-year-old today is healthier than a 50-year-old was 20 years ago. I tend to believe him. We are living longer, and we are healthier and cannot see ourselves as seniors. So to attract the boomers to become volunteers or members many seniors’ organizations are changing their name and their approach to engaging my generation. This is a good thing as we need to keep active and involved to bring about change. The flight is always interesting, the landing can be a bit scary.

Are you a Boomer or a Senior?


Are you a Boomer or a Senior?

I was giving a workshop to the SOB (Some Old Boys Club) on Licencing Issues for Seniors and I was talking to one of the members before the workshop. We had been talking about retirement and I had said, I was so busy that I had been forced to start keeping a schedule. 

  I don’t do volunteer work, because of the commitment of time. Now it is not the time commitment but the regular commitment of time. I worked all my life, and I have been retired for 25 years and I value my time. I don’t like the idea of having to commit on a regular basis to one activity, not even golfing with my friends.

He then talked about how he respected those who volunteered but that because he did not like to be tied down he would not volunteer. He also said that his wife had decided to volunteer at the local hospital but when she went to the orientation meeting and talked to the staff, she quickly realized that she too, did not want to be tied to a specific schedule. The hospital did not offer any flexible options, so she is not volunteering.

The idea of not volunteering because of time commitment is one I have heard before and one that is a legitimate concern of many seniors. We have worked for over 30 years tied to time schedules and time commitments controlled by others; in retirement we are now in control of our own time and we value our time, and we are suspicious of giving up our use of our time to others.

If you ask people who are not retired, what freedom from work, usually means, if you drill deeper, they will tell you it is the freedom to do what they want, when they want. So if people want seniors to volunteer they need to take a flexible approach to scheduling, if they cannot then they will lose many potential volunteers.

My volunteer activities with COSCO Health and Wellness Institute, give me the freedom to choose when I volunteer, it is very flexible, a fact I enjoy.

The other issue that many organizations that work with seniors are faced with is the name senior. I do not think of myself as a senior, I prefer the term Sonic Boomer, many of my friends call themselves Boomers. At a recent conference I was at, a number of organizations said they were considering removing the term senior from their name.




Royce Shook 26/11/2016 · #5

#3 Robert, I agree that we need to keep busy, and as you suggest, busy in a meaningful way. I am amazed at the amount of things that seniors/boomers are doing to help others, which makes our lives more meaningful. You are spot on with your statement that volunteer means something different than it did a few years back. I also think that many organisations are failing to attract our age group because they don't understand what we want to achieve and that we need flexibility.

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Robert Booker 14/10/2016 · #4

#1 Cool answer. I retired and un-retired myself. Yes, boredom is a big thing when you retire. Like you I found something else to do

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Robert Booker 14/10/2016 · #3

Liked the Boomer or a Senior? But I think what I read is what are you doing with your time. Keeping busy is something we all must do, and yes, as we get older that gets harder. I find the reason for this is because we sit around more.
As a 70-year-old man I never did that. 7 years ago I volunteered with a grown that works with children that are in the “court’s system” call CASA. I worked with the number of children allowed by our stated so I was busy most of the time. However, you can take as many children as you can handle. You are their voice, in court, to other children agencies, and you voice is powerful. In El Paso for has the power of the court that appoints you.
This does not take away from my time as a pastor. AT 70 I find that I still do the things I want to do, but what I want to do is help others and get the word of God out to all. This might not be what others want but that is okay. Do what you enjoy, what makes you happy.
As you said, as you drilled deeper, you found out people who have not retired want to be free to do what they want to do. I have always thought to volunteer meant to work when you wanted too, not when the institution wanted you to. Volunteer means something different today than it did only a short few years ago. I think the institution who use volunteer should take a look at what the word “volunteer” means.

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Royce Shook 14/10/2016 · #2

#1 Thanks Paul, I retired in 2006, and went back to work again the next day. By 2013 I was finally fully retired--except I deliver workshops on Health and Wellness to Senior groups once a week, write a blog, and golf.. I also suffer from procrastination as I have so many things I am doing that I find it hard to decide what to do next. Life is great!

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Paul Walters 13/10/2016 · #1

@Royce Shook Cool article, I don't believe there is such a thing as retirement! I was fortunate enough to sell my company at 50 and "retire' to Bali. Within 3 months I was boring myself into an early grave ( or a funeral pyre as they do here) So I re - invented myself as a writer of books, articles and trivia. I help people out where I can but am not involved in 'organised volunteering as I suffer from acute sloth and procrastination.... . I liked your piece ...rock on.

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