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Everyday Ageism

How old is elderly?

(108 Posts)
NanaJML Fri 21-Jan-22 11:52:41

My friends and I, all in mid 60's, were discussing when we will feel ready to be described "elderly". We get really p'd off when people our age are called elderly as we certainly don't feel it. And when does old age start? Any thoughts?

PinkCosmos Fri 21-Jan-22 12:00:55

Is there not a quote somewhere that says everyone who is ten years older than you is old.

I always associate 'elderly' with frail.

I am mid 60's and don't feel elderly - unless my knee is playing me up hmm

M0nica Fri 21-Jan-22 12:03:14

Factually old age starts at 60. Take average age at death as 90. 0-30 is young, 30-60 is middle age, over 60 is old.

How you feel, how fit you are , how society perceives us, is just that - perception. 'elderly' is a judgement adjective, not based on chronology but how we present.

I began to be treated as if I was elderly around 75.

Kali2 Fri 21-Jan-22 12:05:14

As so many things in life - just depends!

My dad only became elderly aged 95, my mum about 85.

AGAA4 Fri 21-Jan-22 12:09:15

I will be 75 this year and don't consider myself elderly. Others may but in my head I am not old.

grandMattie Fri 21-Jan-22 12:11:23

Definitely 10 years older than oneself, until late 80s…?

Kim19 Fri 21-Jan-22 12:26:10

I'll concede to being old (ish!) but don't think I'll ever make it to elderly. Much further down the line and keeps moving.

Hithere Fri 21-Jan-22 12:59:35

"Factually old age starts at 60. Take average age at death as 90. 0-30 is young, 30-60 is middle age, over 60 is old."

Let's not get our pride get in the middle of. very basic statistics categorization.

I don't see myself being middle aged either but that's where I fit.

Calendargirl Fri 21-Jan-22 13:05:15

‘Elderly’ conjures up that road sign with two old people on sticks, and a ‘Beware, Elderly People’ message. Often seen near a nursing home.

Hope I never look like that.


Witzend Fri 21-Jan-22 13:09:48

It’s when you’re said to have ‘had a fall’, rather than just happening to have fallen over.
Or so I’ve heard, anyway.

BlueBelle Fri 21-Jan-22 13:14:18

Deja vu
We ve JUST had a very similar thread

NfkDumpling Fri 21-Jan-22 13:14:41

I agree it's ten years older than your current age. Although I think that rule stops after 90 when you start telling everyone "I'm ninety one you know"!

Blondiescot Fri 21-Jan-22 13:15:45

I used to laugh when my MiL and I went to visit my mother in the care home. MiL would talk about the 'old folk' in there - many of whom were a good bit younger than she was!

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 21-Jan-22 13:22:15

Elderly is always someone else!

Hithere Fri 21-Jan-22 13:37:34

We are mixing stereotypes with age brackets

A child, middle aged person or elderly can be fragile, have a fall or perfectly healthy.
It has nothing to do with age, but with each individual

PinkCosmos Fri 21-Jan-22 14:27:21

Here is the sign. I heard a few years ago that it was no longer used. There is still one near us.

PinkCosmos Fri 21-Jan-22 14:28:56

See above. It isn't near a nursing home but the area we live in is quite often referred to as 'God's waiting room' because of the high percentage of people who retire here.

MayBeMaw Fri 21-Jan-22 14:32:09

In answer to OP’s question

At least 10 years older than oneself.

varian Sat 22-Jan-22 11:37:42

I think you are elderly if you are an avid reader of the deaths announcements in the local paper - not to check that your name's not there but to reassure yourself that all (or at least most) of the dear departed are actually older than you.

JaneJudge Sat 22-Jan-22 11:41:29


Here is the sign. I heard a few years ago that it was no longer used. There is still one near us.

I pass a sign like that too. It is on a very busy road by a park home type development.

I don't think elderly is to with age. I describe my neighbours as elderly but is more how they are (ill/housebound/disabled) I worry about them. I don't think they are as old as they look either

henetha Sat 22-Jan-22 11:44:52

I'm 84 years young. Definitely not elderly.

Kandinsky Sat 22-Jan-22 11:51:22

I would describe someone of 75+ as ‘elderly’

gulligranny Sat 22-Jan-22 11:54:55

I'm 76 and not at all elderly, thank you very much Kandinsky!!
What a ridiculous generalisation.

henetha Sat 22-Jan-22 11:56:53

You might be correct, Kandinsky, but I'm in denial! smile

Lovetopaint037 Sat 22-Jan-22 12:00:36

I think it’s when you can’t do things and that impinges on your life quality. Sometimes I feel elderly and sometimes not. I am 80.