What age is considered elderly - ProTeacher Community


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What age is considered elderly
Old 06-11-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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What age do you consider someone to be elderly? I went out to dinner with my dad and his wife tonight, and his wife who's about to turn 60 was saying how she's an elderly woman. My mom is a few years younger than she is and is definitely fighting aging and does not consider herself elderly by any means, whereas my dad's wife talks about how old she is, how she probably won't even live 10 more years cause she's old, and brags about her senior citizen discounts. I really don't get her. Most women are like my mom trying to fight aging. I never considered 60 being elderly. Many people in their 60s are still healthy, active, still work jobs, ect. I always considered my grandparents when they were in their 80s and 90s as elderly.


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Elderly is a state of health not an age
Old 06-11-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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To me, elderly implies declining health, declining physical abilities, and declining mental abilities. My parents were in Albania doing mission work at 79 ... not elderly. By 82 they were elderly and passed away at 86. Sounds like the number "60" is freaking your father's wife out. My mother in law was like that - she really believed that she was old at 60.
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Good question
Old 06-11-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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I think it depends on the person. I've seen 80 yrs olds in better condition than me.(I'm 45 ) On the other hand, I've seen 60 yrs olds that act like they are 90.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:01 PM
 
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My dad's wife sure acts old by talking about how hard she works and how she'll probably die from all the hard work she does around the house (gardening, cleaning). However health wise she's doing pretty well. I look at my grandmother who is 92 (who is truly elderly) and feel like my dad's wife should be thanking her lucky stars she's not in as bad shape as my grandmother is who takes countless medications and who has trouble just walking, and wishes she'd die cause of all the pain she's in.
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Elderly
Old 06-12-2011, 01:48 AM
 
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I think of feeble due to age but............

elderly
adjective

her elderly mother: aged, old, advanced in years, aging, long in the tooth, past one's prime; gray-haired, grizzled, hoary; in one's dotage, decrepit, doddering, doddery, senescent; informal getting on, past it, over the hill, no spring chicken. ANTONYMS youthful.

noun
(the elderly) health care for the elderly: old people, the aged, senior citizens; geriatrics, seniors; retired people, retirees, golden agers; informal oldsters, geezers.


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Old 06-12-2011, 02:29 AM
 
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Whatever the age is for the senior discount at places
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Old 06-12-2011, 02:53 AM
 
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Webster's defines elderly as : approaching old age. Whatever that means! By the way: 'Aging' is used incorrectly by most people. Everyone is aging. My two-year-old niece is aging. Elderly people are aged.

As I always say to my students, old age is a matter of perception. To them, I am definitely elderly. To a person who is older than I am, I am young.

For me, it is hard to look at certain individuals and use that term. I saw Raquel Welch on TV one night. The woman is 70 years old and looks fabulous! Would you call Cher elderly?

As others have said, it depends upon the individual. I think the word elderly has a negative connotation, and for me, it conjures an image of a stooping old man who is walking with a cane. Surely, not somebody who still behaves as if she/he is in the prime of life!
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Depends on the person
Old 06-12-2011, 03:07 AM
 
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My mom was active until she died in her 80s. She was a Columbiette, belonged to three different senior citizen groups and had tons of friends. Her mind was sharp as a tack and she was tons of fun.

My sister in law's mother parked herself in front of the TV and waited for death.

For some people the number is what makes them old.
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something to add
Old 06-12-2011, 03:24 AM
 
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I'd like to add that I was listening to the local news one night, and there was one "young" lady news reporter who was maybe in her 30's. She was describing how an 'elderly' woman was robbed. Okay, I'm picturing a poor old lady with gray hair and maybe a hump in her back. Then I heard the age of this 'elderly' woman. The woman was 63. 63! My mother is older than that I and I still have a hard time thinking of her as elderly.
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:32 AM
 
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65 and older is defined as elderly -approaching old age fits well too - for me it is a state of mind and attitude. You are as old as you think you are.
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:58 AM
 
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Quote:
As others have said, it depends upon the individual. I think the word elderly has a negative connotation, and for me, it conjures an image of a stooping old man who is walking with a cane. Surely, not somebody who still behaves as if she/he is in the prime of life
That's one great thing about Japan where elders are held in high regard! Pretty much every area has some great benefits for them when they hit a certain age. My old area each month gave them:

- free bus pass
- free train pass
- 2000 yen ($20) gift card for free groceries
- 8 free passes to the local bathhouse
- voucher for free 20 minute massage
- voucher for a free haircut
- 4 vouchers for a free cup of coffee at participating stores
- 2 free movie passes at the local cinema.
- 4 vouchers for a free beer at the local bar.

I often see old people very active here. I was teaching at the city center and there was an 85 year old woman who wanted to learn English just to keep her mind sharp. I see many out for walks or biking in the morning. Very cool indeed.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:02 AM
 
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I just turned 62 on June 1. I DO NOT consider myself elderly If anyone tried to refer to me as elderly, I'd pop 'em in the face
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Age is a state of mind...
Old 06-12-2011, 04:15 AM
 
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My husband's grandmothers were born a day apart. One lived her life by traveling and volunteering. The other spent her days watching tv and doing crossword puzzles and complaining about being old. Surprisingly, they both lived to be 91. The difference is that the active grandma didn't count down the days to the end; she LIVED!
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:32 AM
 
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Elderly is about 10 - 15 years older than me
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:57 AM
 
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sMILING I agree fish2!
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:16 AM
 
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"elderly" is a state of mind. My dad was a master at looking old and feeble when he wanted something from someone he didn't know. He was very active and his mind was as sharp as anything. I remember once we were at a baseball game where we weren't allowed to bring our own food in. I explained to the guy at the door that it was for my father who couldn't eat the food at the baseball stadium. Without moving a muscle, Dad looked old and feeble. The guy took pity on him and let us in with our small cooler of food. As soon as we were out of sight of the guy, Dad started his spry walking and chatting as always. I said, "what was that? your elderly act?" He laughed and said, "yep, works every time!"
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TO me it doesn't matter what you look like,
Old 06-12-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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you are still an elderly person at a certain age. (I love what fish said! haha)

In reality, if the average life expectancy is 76 years or so, then when you are in your 60s, you probably are elderly. It doesn't mean you are in poor health, but you are no longer young, or even middle aged.

I think more people are still active and look pretty good for their age nowadays which is great, but they are still elderly.

JMO
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Really.
Old 06-12-2011, 06:47 AM
 
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I am pushing 60, and no way do I consider myself "elderly". Elderly-ness is a state of mind and body. I think my 83 year old mother is elderly, but she's just come through a quadruple bypass and is eager to see her new grandson! As Dr. Christianne Northrup says after 60 we enter the "ageless" years! I'm all for that!
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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I agree with PP about state of mind.

I consider my Nana, who is 81ish to be elderly. She is not healthy at all, and is losing her mind, can't take care of herself as well, etc.

However, my grandfather is 80 and I don't consider him to be elderly at all. He is still super active, still has a job, etc. He seems very young to me.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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fish2 nailed it!

Think about it when you were 15, 30 really seemed old.
At 50, 65 seemed old
At 65, 80 seems old


As to your mom and step mom, I think they are both trying to deal with aging in their own ways. One is embracing it, talking about it, naming it to try to make it seem real to her. The other is avoiding and fighting it. It is difficult to become elderly in America. There is a lack of respect for the elderly. America is so focused on being thin and being young and yet the largest group of Americans are older and obesity is becoming a big problem. Quite a disconnect.
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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That's a good question. I wonder if the idea that elderly is a state of mind and refers to someone who is feeble and unable to do things, is what creates the lack of respect for elderly people that sometimes exists in our society. It seems to me that it would be better to acknowledge that a person is elderly (say, 65 years or older, as treetoad said) yet still vibrant. Does that make any sense? I'm feeling writer's block today. At any age there are those who look/act their age, those who seem younger, and those who seem older than their years. There are some 50 year olds who complain about their aches and pains or battling their weight, and other 50 year olds who don't have those issues, but the fact is if they are 50 years old they are middle-aged. We can't claim that the ones who look and act youthful are still actually young/youths.

I would definitely say that someone who is about to turn 60 is still middle-aged. I also don't think senior citizen and elderly exactly equate. Many places start senior citizen's rates at age 55, but that age is not elderly.

Last edited by Moana Mel; 06-12-2011 at 12:27 PM..
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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I'm 61 and do not consider my self elderly. Heck, I'm usually not old enough to get discounts at restaurants or the movies. Darn it.

But there are days at work I tell my young colleagues my goofs must be because of my old age. We laugh and they all agree that I'm not old, elderly.

Some days it hurts a little more to bend over or worse get back up. Hence, I don't sit on the floor with the kids. But my mind is sharp, I'm active, and won't slow down. I could retire in 4 years but probably won't because I love my job and don't want to end up on the couch!

To me, elderly is in your mind. You act elderly, you are.
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elderly?
Old 06-12-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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Yesterday I read a post about someone who was worried about her aging mother. When I first started reading I assumed 80 or so. I read on and she said she was 60! My husband and I are 59. When I read it to him we both were surprised.
An "aging parent" I guess is perceived differently at different ages.

We don't consider ourselves "aged or elderly" at all! We do however consider his parents "elderly" at 80 and 83. But still they are active. His dad goes out fishing everyday and walks the creeks and his mom goes to aerobics everyday.
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:34 PM
 
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My dad's wife definitely does embrace being old. She even refers to herself as "Grandma" to the dog!! Her favorite saying is "when i look into the mirror i see an old woman looking back at me".

Although I am still single and childless at 30, my mom still thinks she would be too young to be a grandma(she's 57), and hates the word grandma. My mom says when I do have kids, she's picking a "hip" grandma name, instead of some old granny name like my dad's wife likes so much. Funny thing is, my mom doesn't look young but still fights the aging process. Of course my maternal grandma was the same way. She was 65 when I was born with wrinkles and gray hair, and still thought she wasn't old enough to be a grandma! Maybe its just the women in my mom's family that fight the aging process so much!
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I am 66
Old 06-13-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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I didn't feel elderly until 65 years old just was there. Then you have to sign up for medicare, think about when you might apply for social security, but after I got those milestone things out of the way I am back to feeling middle aged again. It was so weird when I realized I was 65.........like how did that happen and when!!!

I am retired and that gives a lot of options of what to do with my time. I definately am not sitting and watching TV, much, or doing crossword puzzles although there is nothing wromg wiwth that. I fam volunteering, playing bridge, and just taking it easy when I don't feel well and not worring if I should get a sub!

So....there was a time when I had to deal wiwth what I thought were elderly things....now that is gone.
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I am 66
Old 06-13-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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I didn't feel elderly until 65 years old just was there. Then you have to sign up for medicare, think about when you might apply for social security, but after I got those milestone things out of the way I am back to feeling middle aged again. It was so weird when I realized I was 65.........like how did that happen and when!!!

I am retired and that gives a lot of options of what to do with my time. I definately am not sitting and watching TV, much, or doing crossword puzzles although there is nothing wrong with that. I am volunteering, playing bridge, and just taking it easy when I don't feel well and not worring if I should get a sub!

So....there was a time when I had to deal with what I thought were elderly things....now that is gone.
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elderly
Old 06-13-2011, 08:40 AM
 
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I agree with the PPs that age has much to do with how you perceive it. I'm over 60, but can outrun and outwalk any of my (far) younger friends and still like to backpack around the world. I don't feel elderly, even though I've stopped dyeing my hair and let it go gray. My friends who are my age feel the same way as I do. I look up to the 80+ year olds who are still fit and enjoy life. Having those role models keeps me feeling far from elderly. I do like the senior discounts, though .

Yet I know some teachers who retired as soon as they could (55) and who act like they have only a few years left on earth, even though physically there isn't much wrong with them other than a few aches and pains. They don't want to do anything more than sit and watch TV.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:46 PM
 
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I too think it depends upon the physical and mental health of the person, along with their attitude.

Nancy
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