Royce Shook

4 months ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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65 is still young

I posted about this a few months ago, asking the question how do you define old? My answer was/is “Anyone who is 10 years older than me is old.”

The World Health Organization before it declared 2020-2030 the decade of Healthy Ageing looked at the ageing and asked How old is old? The question is a good one because populations around the world are ageing at a faster pace than in the past and this demographic transition will have an impact on almost all aspects of society. Already, there are more than 1 billion people aged 60 years or older, with most living in low- and middle-income countries. Many do not have access to even the basic resources necessary for a life of meaning and dignity. Many others confront multiple barriers that prevent their full participation in society.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the seriousness of existing gaps in policies, systems and services. A decade of concerted global action on Healthy Ageing is urgently needed to ensure that older people can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.

The answer to the question about how old is old may surprise you; the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that 65 years old is still considered young. Before, based on the Friendly Societies Act (1875) in Britain, old was defined by the age of 50. The UN has not yet adopted a standard criterion but lately 60 years old was referred to as the border age to the word ‘old’ (Except for those who were 60 who defined old differently.) However, the health organization had done new research recently, according to average health quality and life expectancy and defined a new criterion that divides human age as follows:

·        0 to 17 years old: underage

·        18 to 65 years old: youth or young people

·        66 to 79 years old: middle-aged

·        80 to 99 years old: elderly or senior

·        100+ years old: long-lived elderly

So, I have a few more years to go before I reach the ranks of those the World Health Organization considers elderly or senior. I will still, even when I am, by age, defined as elderly, still consider myself young and will still consider those who are 10 years older than me to be elderly. Notice I am not using the word old as it is an ageist word and discriminates against those who are elderly. By changing one word at a time, we can change attitudes, but it is still a slow process. So, we who are middle-aged need to be vigilant in our fight against ageism as we progress through the decade of Healthy Ageing.



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John Rylance

4 months ago #3

An elderly arthritic family friend was wont to say on the outside she felt old and decrepit, while inside she felt young full of life. 

I think we have a physical age and a mental age, sometimes they are close together, others they can be far apart.

Zacharias 🐝 Voulgaris

4 months ago #2

Before he died, my father was at the age group that others would consider “old” even by WHO standards. Yet, he was younger in practice than many of the people in my generation. Always active and curious about life, constantly learning new things. Perhaps age has nothing to do with how old you are, as long as you remain young inside. Cheers

Ken Boddie

4 months ago #1

You're only as old as the partner you feel.  😂🤣🤗

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