Sort of an extension of this thread, at what age does “elderly” begin? (No bets on when it ends.)

I’m going with mid-70s.

But I’ve had a number of Thais tell me in all seriousness that it begins at 35! :eek: Dadgum whippersnappers!

For me it’s not an age so much as a state of health. When you need assistance, up/down the stairs, in/out of the car, to go shopping, etc, etc. That’s ‘elderly’, to me, more so than just a specific cut off age like 65 or 70yrs!

Somewhere north of 70. Certainly not under 65.

I don’t know how I would have answered this question 20 or 30 years ago. I’m 56 now and have friends in their early 60s who I wouldn’t call “elderly.” That word connotes frailty, somehow, to me. I think I’d be rather insulted if anyone called me elderly!

If I had to pick a number, I’d go with 70.

(Damn! That’s closer than ever!)

I say 70 as a general rule. But there are some people in their late 60s who might I call “elderly” on sight, and some 70-somethings who can pass.

Senior discount applies at fast food counters when you look older than the counter-girl’s mom. Sometimes that’s under 40.

Middle age ends
The day your descendants
Outnumber your friends.

I would say 70. I remember my in-laws were active in their sixties, but really slowed down around 70. My husband is in his seventies, and there is a marked difference.

I know many people in their seventies who are energetic and active, but not the way someone in his sixties is active. So 70.

These are both closer to my version of it than some arbitrary number. But if it’s a number you must have (and since I’m still younger than that) how about 75. :wink:

More a case-by-case basis, but I think 80 is a better general rule. To me “elderly” means significant physical impairment, and I know lots of people in their 70s who do just fine.

But then, I live in CA-- aka: The Land of Eternal Youth.

To me, “elderly” is on the way to “old.” “Old” is the significant physical impairment; “elderly” is beyond middle age.

But maybe none of you ever get old, you’re just in euphemisic denial until you die.

Elderly is when store clerks can’t see you.
I’m not there yet,even tho I’m in a powerchair and need a lot of help here and there.


Back when I was 5 years old I considered my 10 year old sister as old.

My views have changed somewhat over the years.


“Elderly” just seems too polite a word to mean anything other than “so old we feel uncomfortable calling you old”. “Old” is a pretty all-encompassing word whose meaning depends on context. It could be 90 or 30. “Elderly” to me, is as old as it gets.

Yeah, the 70s. I’m in my 60s and can usually tell if someone is in their 70s. A certain amount of frailty seems to set in in that decade for a lot of folks. Guess I’ll find out soon. :frowning:

For me, 75.

Birth to 35 = young
35 to 75 = middle aged
75+ = old

I’d say 65-70.