essays

Life Preservers

yellow dot programThese ideas are being touted to baby boomers, but they’re good for everyone.

“Help, I’ve just crashed and can’t get up!” There are some 40 million drivers 65+ and 32 million have a license.

The Yellow Dot. An aging baby boomer population is turning it into a national fad – a sticker on the rear windshield directing rescuers to a corresponding Yellow Dot medical information packet in the glove compartment (for you or anyone likely to be with you). The program has been around since 2002. In the past year, more states and counties are adopting it.

This is especially vital during the crucial “golden hour,” the first 60 minutes after a serious crash that makes the difference between life and death. With a victim’s medical information readily available at the scene, responders can make the most out of the critical time frame.

But what if you never got into a serious accident in the first place?

Nevada is the first state to establish regulations for “driverless” cars. Such vehicles are developing gradually. Already we have self-parking and built-in skid control. In a few years, there will be cars that introduce automatic intervention for breaking, acceleration and turning to avoid collisions.

Volvo is working on “road trains” where caravans of cars drive at fixed speeds and intervals.

Let’s assume the worst. You are a tragic victim of a road accident. Now it’s possible to reach beyond the grave. Besides the Will.

It’s called a QR code (Quick Response), a small piece of high tech that attaches QR on headstoneto your cemetery memorial (they are also popping up in print ads and other printed materials).

People who scan the code with their smart phones are taken to a website that can include anything you wish: an obituary, eulogies, life history, songs, videos, words of wisdom. One company calls it an “interactive legacy.”

QR is actually a two dimensional bar code under a protective shield. It’s small, discrete, and tasteful.

But it doesn’t have to be boring. QR code art is an industry.

Such a device opens the sarcophagus to all types of possibilities, and complications. It allows you to control your own story, even to the point of refuting rumors and lies. One can imagine a deceased divorced couple, interred separately, telling competing versions of their time together.

So-called “living headstones” are catching on fast, especially with modest price tags of under $100. Custom-made will run higher.

Whatever happens, “May the Force be with you.”

Terry Hamburg writes the Baby Boomer Daily about the exciting and revolutionary baby boomer years.

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