Tell us what you think: Do we need a new name?

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Tell us what you think: Do we need a new name?

What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.—Juliet in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

            What do you think would be a great new name for this column?  Send in your suggestions or opinions to  Or telephone legal assistant Bryce Blackford at 301-464-7448, extension 111.  In two weeks, we will count the names and put the two with the highest votes up for a final decision by readers. If you don’t want the name changed, feel free to tell us that, too.

            Did you know that Senior Moments is in its 13th year, having begun as a weekly column for the Bowie Blade-News in January 0f 2001.  Two books of the same name, organizing the columns by topic have been published during that time.

            A new column name will be a change.  To tell the truth, a fair number of columns have discussed the reaction of seniors to change – whether it is the expected changes to our minds and bodies brought about by aging or the culture changes that challenge and confuse us as we grow older.

            The world continues to change, and will do so, whether we individually approve or not. It is true everywhere we go.  Our culture, even our favorite grocery stores, forces us to use computers and scan and check ourselves out.  For some time, our gas stations have required us to pump our own gas.  In retail stores, it is more and more difficult to find someone who works there and, even if you do, it is not necessarily likely that they have any interest in assisting you.

What did happen to customer service?

            That last paragraph sounds like it could have been written by my friend, Paul Schuette,  former Bowie resident, in his column for the Bowie Senior Center Newsletter called “Grumblings of a crabby old Man.”  Paul is a great writer, and I feel myself joining him on many days.  Perhaps that would be a new name for us, just changing the last word to woman?

            When Senior Moments began all those years ago, the term was a bit fresher.  It had not necessarily become a cliché, and I felt the need to explain what it meant in the first column:  “You know those terms that spread like wildfire from one end of this country to the other —and everybody somehow knows what they mean?  Some of them come from advertising, such as “Where’s the beef?”  Some of them come from TV shows, such as “Is that your final answer?”  Then, there are some whose origins remain a mystery.

            “Nevertheless, if you are above 40, and just as you start to say someone’s name you forget it, then you know what a Senior Moment is.  More and more people are smiling, scratching their heads and saying “oops – Senior Moment” and their listeners know what they mean.”

            Wow.  That’s funny on several different levels.  How old do you have to be to even remember “Where’s the beef?”

            I digress.  Here at the newspaper, we are thinking that this column may need a more cutting edge title.  For instance, the term senior moments might imply humor.  Yet the column is not really that humorous, though I sometimes try.  The column is most often about serious and sober matters; issues such as age discrimination, elder abuse, neglect and exploitation, guardianships, health care decisions, health care quality issues, housing options for seniors, Medicare, Medicaid and other public benefits and more.  Columns often discuss the needs of caregivers, caregiver’s guilt, resources for caregivers, the Family and Medical Leave act.  The topics go on and on.

            Here is another quote from the very first column:  “There was a time, I’m sure you know, when everyone in Bowie was so young there were no funeral homes here, no senior housing and precious few gray hairs.  Now we have two funeral homes. Assisted living facilities are springing up all over the place.  Clearly, people love Bowie, and want to stay here.  I want to stay here, too, and I want to enjoy the great life offered here.  So join me each week here in the Blade for musings regarding preventing problems and meeting the challenges of seniors and their families.”

            The content of the column will remain virtually the same.  Remember the old saw, “The more things change, the more they remain the same?”  You can expect the same old me – just with a new name for my musings and advice.

            Through the week, around Bowie, I meet many people who say they read the column.  Please let the editors know that you read it by responding to the name contest as soon as you can.  Thank you so much.

            Thank you for reading.  Stay well.  See you next week

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