Yup . . . it\’s true! May is “Older American\’s Month”. To give you an idea of how powerful we are as a group – we don\’t just get a day . . . we get a whole month! Impressive! What are you doing to celebrate our month?

I was recently told that, as a Baby Boomer, I\’m considered an “older American”. Which is kind of funny because when I think of an “older American”, I think of my mother\’s generation, not mine! Especially because I don\’t really feel “old”. I feel mature and grown up and wise – but not old. In fact, I still see myself as young. I have friends who are my mother\’s age and I don\’t think of them as old either. I just think of them as my friends.

As a friend said recently on her 60th birthday, “It\’s funny that I don\’t think of myself as old. I think I\’m just hitting my prime but when my parents were my age, they were already really old.”

Perhaps, but I\’ll bet when our parents look in the mirror, they don\’t see themselves as old either.

And the reality is that, for many Baby Boomers, there\’s more of a difference in age between us and our children than between us and our parents. Therefore, when you work with your parents respect them as parents, but don\’t treat them as old. Treat them as a fellow adult. Communicate as an adult. Perhaps communicate with the openness you would use with your friends. The best way to have more of a part in their life is to share more of your life with them.

As we help our parents, too often we approach the time with them only in terms of responsibility and forget the relationship so while you\’re helping them . . . share the fun.

So as you celebrate Older American\’s Month, your Older American\’s Month Assignment:
• Do all the stuff that you “should” do as a mature, intelligent woman.
• Then grab all the other older (and younger) people in your life and go out and have some fun!
• Don\’t just have fun . . . be silly!
• Don\’t just be silly . . . be childlike!
• Don\’t just be childlike . . . be youthful!

In other words . . . Carpe Diem, baby! And while you\’re seizing the day, seize the month and the year, too!

© Copyright AgeWiseLiving® 2008 You can find information about “The Ultimate Caregiver\’s Survival Guide: The step by step blueprint to resolving your Eldercare issues by choice, not crisis” WORKBOOK, AgeWiseLiving® seminars and free teleseminars, and to sign up for Barbara\’s free monthly newsletter at www.AgeWiseLiving.com or by calling toll-free (877) AGE-WISE. Barbara E. Friesner is an author and the country\’s leading Generational Coach and expert on issues affecting seniors and their families. She is an adjunct professor at Cornell University, where she created and teaches “Seniors Housing Management” at Cornell\’s School of Hotel Administration.

Barbara Friesner is the country's leading Generational Coach and an expert on issues affecting Seniors and their families. She has been interviewed for Advising Boomers magazine, featured on NY1 TV's Focus on Seniors and Coping with Caregiving on wsRadio. She has also been quoted in newspapers and magazines across the country and her articles have been published in the CAPSule, the Children of Aging Parent's newsletter.