Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Are you old, senior or elderly?

As more and more Canadians pass 65, it may be helpful to use gerontology terminology to describe our age group. Gerontologists divide "older adults" into four categories, by age:
· 65 to 74 is "young old"
· 75 to 84 is "middle old"
· 85 to 99 is "older old"
· 100+ is "very old"
So, I am young old and will be for a few more years. My friends and I approve of the terms "senior" and "old age," when followed by the words "discount”. For the most part, we agree that "elderly" should be reserved for people who are frail with diminishing faculties, and not used automatically for anyone over, say, 65.
And, we think that the tendency to use words like "elderly" without consideration, indicate an aspect of ageism.
Some of us think that ageism is beginning to fade, in part because as famous baby boomers enter their senior years, they're not stepping out of the spotlight. Yet others think it still exists in spades, just watch the Saturday Night Live episode of May 13th to see ageism in action.
But on the other hand, just look at some of the stars that are still around, The Rolling Stones, or Tina Turner I watched Dolly Parton on television last night. I don't call Dolly Parton old! (In case you missed Dolly's last birthday: she's 71.)
So, our gerontologists talk about the 'young old,' the 'middle old,' the 'older old,' and the 'very old.' So, the 'young old' would be 65 to 74, 'middle old' is 75 to 84, 'older old' is 85 and over, and then the 'very old' are centenarians. Which leads me to my question:
How would you like to be referred to when you're over 60 (ish)?
1. Give it to me straight: I'm old
2. I think "senior" has an air of dignity to it
3. I like the technical terms: young old, middle old, etc.
4. Why are you trying to put me in a box?
5. Other: Zoomer, Older Boomer, Sonic Boomer or ...

Let me know. My answer is Other "I am a Sonic Boomer"

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