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Definition of Elderly

Category Senior Living
When does a person become elderly? There are definitions that have to do with convention, political entities and services, and personal perceptions including state of mind. This is a guide about the definition of elderly.
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July 16, 2013

Elderly is a way of thinking and acting, rather than a number of birthdays. The person who is rigid in thinking, unable and unwilling to consider new ideas, and rutted into acting in limited and old ways is elderly. The person who is adaptable to new ways of thinking and willing to explore new ideas and experiences is youthful in mind, if not in body. Helping others to do the same is another sign of the non elderly.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 9, 2012

How do you define elderly? At what state of you life do you become elderly?

By Wayne from Huntsville, TX

Answers

May 10, 20120 found this helpful

I don't know if anybody really knows. Myself, I think after a person reaches their mid-fifties a lot will depend on their physical health and how well they have taken care of themselves. I have an acquaintance that is my age, but she has smoked since she was a teen ager and is also a fairly heavy drinker and she looks about ten years older than our 72 years.

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I also have people tell me that I look about 10 years younger (they are amazed when I tell my age). However, mobility-wise I have a real hard time getting around because of pain. I was absolutely amazed when I was 55 and thinking myself middle-aged and found out that some stores were giving senior discounts to people starting at age 55.

I had always planned on being a grandma that aged gracefully and would be able to play, etc. with my grandkids, but health problems sure changed that.

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May 10, 20121 found this helpful

I'm not sure there is a definitive answer to that. I'm 66 years old, but I feel like I'm in my 40's (it's still nice to get the senior citizen discount, though).

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I didn't consider my Mother to be elderly until a few months before she died. It was when she needed my help to pay her bills and shop for groceries that I thought of her as elderly. Before that she was active and relatively healthy.

I believe "elderly" is a state of mind. Some people seem to be elderly in their 50's, and others are still youthful and vibrant in their 80's. I think the key is to stay as active as possible, exercise your mind, by reading, staying current, doing crossword puzzles, etc. Also, as much as possible, make a conscious effort to walk with the same strong, steady stride that you did when you were younger.

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May 11, 20120 found this helpful

One becomes elderly when they realize and define themselves as such. Or do you mean when to define others as elderly? I'd be cautious on that.

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May 11, 20120 found this helpful

The closer I get to it, the higher the age of being elderly goes. I would say anyone over 75 is certainly elderly. I have a hard time with 50- year-olds qualifying for AARP or anyone under 50 being a grandparent (but some are) . I think it's ridiculous that 55 year olds get senior discounts, but will use them when I get that age.

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May 11, 20121 found this helpful

It's definitely a state of mind. I'm 65--and probably (because I take more care now!) in the best health I've been in years--and work 12 hours a day (in my "retirement!). However, my "hero" is my colleague who also works (can't see why people retire), is an absolute ball of energy and is 87!

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Yes, physical things happen, but that can happen at any point during life. I'm so fed up with the TV shows and commercials who present over 50 year olds as incompetent and just plain doddery. And don't get me started on how kids are so much better at computers. I've been quite competently using computers for over 30 years. We're a "living" group. Just remember we're the Baby Boomers!

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May 11, 20120 found this helpful

Well I am 53, so I went to Goodwill, Wednesday, and try to buy some books on senior citizen day and the lady asked how old I was, she told me I had to be 60 years old to take the discount, So I told her as the casino, you only have to be 50 or older to get 50% off on meals there for senior citizen. My mother was with me, so I just had her to buy the books. My mother is 70 years old.

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May 11, 20120 found this helpful

You are as young as you feel, I am 53, and I work in a Nursing home. I see 70 year old people that get around better than I do and look better, and they are only there because their children did not want them living at home alone. I see these older people that look better than these younger people and move about better also, this old guy that live down the street from me rides his bike every morning come rain or shine.

My grands- kids, ( ages 5, 7, 9, 11), don't even want to walk a block and 1/2 to school, they feel I should waste my gas on them! I make their butts walk! I will pick them up if is raining real hard, like storming, but usually I just let them walk, a little water won't hurt them.

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May 11, 20120 found this helpful

It's a state of mind. Two people may be the same age and one may be looked upon as elderly. I'm 71 (closer to 72) and I take no medications whatsoever. I've never smoked and the only alcohol I consume is a margarita on occasion with friends. I see way too many senior citizens taking every med the doctor wants to give them rather than change their lifestyle. One pill leads to another pill and sooner than later you'll be taking a handful. I get irritated at the seniors who complaint about the younger generation wanting a quick fix for problems when they themselves pop pills like they're candy.

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