Sunday, June 29, 2014

Look at These Baby Boomer Blogs

     A brief survey of some of this week's best Baby Boomer blogs reveals a mix of concerns. Take a look . . .

     On the Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide consumer journalist Rita R. Robison brings up the serious issue of alcohol abuse. She reports on a recent study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention which shows that excessive alcohol use accounts for some 88,000 deaths per year in the U. S., or one in ten deaths among adults 20 - 64 years old. And it's not a problem restricted to males. Yes, about 70 percent of those killed by alcohol are men. But that means 30 percent are women.

     Overall, some 44 percent of deaths attributable to alcohol are due to chronic conditions, primarily liver disease. And 56 percent are caused by acute conditions involving homicide, suicide, child abuse. But the most common cause of acute alcohol death is, by far, motor-vehicle traffic crashes.

     Guess which state has suffered the highest rate of alcohol related deaths? And the lowest? Hint: both states start with the word "New."

     To reduce excessive drinking one task force cited by the CDC recommends increasing alcohol taxes, regulating alcohol outlet density, and avoiding further privatization of alcohol retail sales. I don't know . . . do you think any of that would work? It did (at least to some extent) for smoking.

     On a completely different note, Amy of Modern Senior has stumbled across a great short film project that may resonate with you, especially if you have ever been a caregiver to your own aging parents. The three-minute film clip (I watched it; it's very charming -- you really ought to go over and take a look) was featured on kickstarter, a website where people raise money for their individual and often-creative products and projects. To see the three-minute clip by the NYU film student, an immigrant from South Korea, punch your ticket over at Against Medical Advice.

     Meanwhile, one of our number recently moved from a busy metropolitan area to "Small Town USA" in southern Colorado. Check out her post to get some of her first impressions.  And if you're interested in more reflections on the differences between big city living and the rural life, check out a few of her other posts at the Midlife Crisis Queen.

     As for me, I've been engrossed in the Doris Kearns Goodwin tome on Teddy Roosevelt called The Bully Pulpit. It's quite interesting. But I've got to be careful not to drop the thing, for fear of fracturing my foot.

     Otherwise, I did see one thing I want to pass on -- a news clip about the singer Sting -- as it relates to my previous post on what rich people worry about, and how one of their concerns involves motivating their children not to just sit on their big fat fortune, but to do something useful with their lives. Remember Sting from Police? More recently the British pop singer has been touring with Paul Simon, and now he is producing a stage musical called The Last Ship which just last week opened in Chicago.

     The 62-year-old Sting made news recently when he announced that his children will not be getting their hands on any of his money when he dies. His fortune is estimated at about $300 million. Sting grew up poor, and worked for everything he has. He says he wants his children to have the same opportunities he had. He doesn't want to leave them trust funds that would be, in his words, an "albatross around their necks."

     He says that obviously, if his kids got into trouble, he would help them. But, he continues, "They have to work. All my kids know that, and they rarely ask me for anything. They have the work ethic that makes them want to succeed on their own merit."


Stephen Hayes said...

I wonder how Sting's kids really feel about this.

Florence said...

My husband and I read aloud to each other every day. And our current read-aloud book is The Bully Pulpit. I love it but then I love everything DKG has written. We are up to Teddy not running for Mayor and thinking his political life is over.
Yes, one must be careful and avoid dropping it on one's foot!

DJan said...

Thanks for that information about Sting. It made him come up quite a bit in my estimation of him. And you made me laugh about the tome you're currently reading. :-)

Anonymous said...

Sobering statistics about alcohol abuse. I hate to admit that many of my friends seem to be drinking more than ever before. I attribute some of it to being retired, and having more freedom, but the truth is that many of them are struggling with new fears and problems, too. Alcohol is a temporary reprieve, albeit a potentially dangerous one. In our community, we have also seen a rise in deaths among otherwise healthy adults due to prescription drug abuse. Maybe these problems have always been with us, but posts like this help to make us more aware of others in need.

Linda Myers said...

My husband was told, 30 years ago, that if he continued to drink he could expect to live about another six months.

He decided he'd rather live. Now, every morning, he spends an hour or two talking to folks trying to get sober. It's his passion. And, he says, "It keeps me sober."

Tom Sightings said...

There was no comment from Sting's children. He has six of them, and he apparently spends quite freely, so maybe there won't be much left to divvy up anyway.

I read Goodwin's book on LBJ, which I enjoyed, but I could not get through Team of Rivals -- too long and convoluted. But I'm bound and determined to finish Bully Pulpit ... TR would expect no less of me!

Linda, your husband is a true hero.

Anonymous said...

David is an alcohol counselor and all our parents died long ago, from diseases related to smoking. Thus, caregiving is not an issue. We spend $ on LCT for ourselves. Re Sing...I like his wife, an actress. She's classy.

As we are spending all our $ on LTC we won't leave much to our kids. On the other hand, David and I grew up relatively poor and never earned $3000 million or billion, or whatever makes some folks rich.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

I wonder which of the kids will contest their Dad's decision after he's gone. Many wills get challenged.
Glad they are all creating their own opportunities for now.

Susan Dean said...

Sting is one of my favorites. I understand teaching your children the value of hard work and it is our responsibility as parents to instill that ethic. But I do wonder where all that money will go!

Douglas said...

I was not impressed by his actions. Sting's kids have all the connections they need and the advantage of a famous name. They will not have the same opportunities Sting had (meaning they won't have the same obstacles to overcome).