As baby boomers reject traditional terms for aging, a new war on words is unfolding with more than $4.6 trillion in economic activity for products and services at stake. Not surprisingly the term "senior citizen" is out, as is "mature adult” or any words that carry a negative connotation.
So what are the terms that boomers will positively respond to?
You don’t have to look any further than the traditional “senior center.” Consider the newly renamed Center for Active Living in Plymouth, Mass. or the Community Life Center in Salem. There is also a shift away from passive meeting places for eating and board games to more vibrant, intergenerational venues featuring lectures and the arts. For example, Plymouth’s center is on the campus of one of its two high schools.
Regardless, as more and more boomers reach retirement age, you will less likely see the word “senior” used to attract attention, and if you do, it will often be paired with a word that provides a more positive spin such as Natick’s recently rechristened Natick-Community Senior Center.
One Last Thing...When time permits, visit ConfrontingAging's newest page: Quest to Look Young.