At what age is a person ‘elderly’?

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By Chuck Woodbury
I recently came across a survey we conducted where we asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us at what age a person should be considered “elderly.” See the chart below for the range of responses.

I am sure that if we asked this question to a group of college students, the results would have skewed younger. Every so often, for example, the name of one of my high school or elementary teachers will come up. When I think about it, I realize that when I was young I considered some of them “old.” But then, really, now considerably older, I figure they were probably in their late 40s or early 50s.

If you weren’t around when we conducted our survey, you may enjoy a sample of the comments left by the more than 2,500 readers who voted.

• “I am 59 feeling 45 except in the morning when everything aches. I have seen folks at 85 and some can run circles around me! I think you better be pushing 90 before I would call you an old timer. Most start to slow then and smell the roses.”

“I know so many full-timers almost 90 who are still going a lot better than me at 63. Maybe elderly is a frame of mind.”

• “‘Elderly’ is 10 years older than I am.

• “I am 70 and used to think my father was really old when he was 60. However, my grandchildren do not think of me as being old. Good news for me. I think age is just a number. How you feel and take care of yourself will leave the impression on others whether you are old or not.

• “I am a nurse and see mostly patients between the ages of 50 and 90. It always amazes me when I see someone who is 55 and I, too, would term them “elderly,” but only because of their health and appearance. Then again, I had a 77-year-old woman patient the other day who could have passed for 55!”

• “I am 67 and my wife is 70. We walked up to the service counter at Best Buy with a computer problem. A kid about 18 asked what was wrong. We told him and he replied, ‘Oh, Bill can handle that.’ He turned around, took about six steps and said to Bill, ‘The old couple need your help.’ I guess to an 18-year-old we are old – ha!”

“Old has very little to do with a calendar. It is all about mental attitude and physical condition. If you think you are old or you feel like you are old, YOU ARE.

“The older I get, the older old gets!

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

 

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PennyPA
5 months ago

I read the question wrong then, of course, I entered the wrong answer. It SHOULD have been “I rarely use my cruise control.”

Diane M
6 months ago

My mother-in-law was elderly at 56. She had no hobbies, no outside interests, never went anywhere, sat around and thought about her aches and pains, gloom and doom. My mother was still young at 86 when she died – laughed a lot, took an interest in everything, got out and went places, kept up with friends, glass always half full. Age is a matter of attitude.

John M
6 months ago

Your only as old as you feel. That’s why I have a younger wife so I can feel younger. (Big Smile)

David Harrison
6 months ago

I agree that old has a lot to do with state of mind. My niece is astounded at how “young” my wife and I are (both 73) but that is mostly a result of keeping an open mind and accepting change. We both have our health problems but we do not allow those to keep us from enjoying life.

Impavid
6 months ago

I’m sorry, what was the question?

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
6 months ago
Reply to  Impavid

😆 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Mike
6 months ago

A woman is as “old” as she looks; a man isn’t old till he stops lookin’.
I’m 80; look 70; act 60; and “sometimes” wish I was 60.

Ed Stephens
6 months ago

I am old enough to be on SS and retired if that counts as old then so be it. Yes I have parts that need to be replaced and some that have been worn out and removed. However, old is a relative term. If you feel old, you are. If you don’t, you’re not. I feel like I will be old someday.

J.P.M.
6 months ago

It’s not the age, it’s the miles! I’m not “old” , I’m older.

Bob p
6 months ago

I am 77 and my lovely wife is 80, many people who meet us think we’re much younger. My wife looks closer to 65 and acts closer to 55. If not for my knee needing replaced which will happen within the the next couple of months, I could pass for early 60s. I jokingly tell people I don’t want to come back to Florida because it has too many old people. When I told my son that he asked if the mirrors were broken in the motor home. Age is a number, it’s how you feel inside, if you think you’re old you will feel and act old. My Dr. who is a year younger than me said he wished more of his patients were like me. I take 2 prescriptions and a few over the counter supplements.

Martha H.
6 months ago

Parts of me are older than others.

Joseph Yake
1 year ago

While still happily towing (I’m a road camper, not a destination camper), I recognize some slowing tendencies. And I was born pre-WW2. While retaining my health and much of the motivation, I can’t help being conscious of the fact that I’m a over a half-century older than the attractive 27-year-old waitress at a diner that I frequent.

So I’m elderly…. (but still active).

Frank 🙂

Richard Hughes
1 year ago

At 72 I switched insurance companies. I had to take a physical that I am sure would have qualified me for a NASA moon shot. The Doctor said that I was in the shape of someone in his 40’s. Since it was on my past record that I had some problems swallowing bread, I was sent for an upper GI. During the procedure my esophagus tore and a lung collapsed. A year and 4 surgical procedures later, I was “elderly.” I have been dedicated to rebuilding and am happy, at 76, to consider myself recovering and no longer elderly. Daily exercise and attitude go a long way to keep the “elderly bug” at bay.

Carolyn M. Ausborn
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Hughes

Absolutely inspired this almost 74 yr old. Am not in great shape and have some weight to get off, but I have a really young mind. I have residuals of an old auto accident where I was thrown from the car. Was “Buff”, having worked out to accept an instructor position at Nautilus Fitness Center in Texas. Well, that ended that – lots of nerve damage and that does slow me down a bit. But, I still have energy and can run circles around many folks 20 or 30 yrs younger than I. I am determined to get back to the JumpSport Rebounder and my great digital cycle. You have inspired me, Richard Hughes.

June Wall
1 year ago

Got my first horse and started riding at age 68—still going strong at 76. My 72 yo husband still runs 1/2 marathons.
Some years ago my 85 yo father broke his arm sliding into base, so guess I got good genes. Dad always said, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are.”

Joel Hagler
1 year ago

I am 88 male going on 98…..My brain is working but the external body is collapsing.

So I think old is when you begin to deteriorate. In my case it was 80.

The obituaries show that 80-85% of folks die before 88.
JH
P.S. I really hate that CAPTCHA stuff since the pictures are too small for my eyes.

Carl G
1 year ago

How old would you be if you didn’t count birthdays?

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl G

Dead? 😉 My theory is that getting old is (usually) better than the alternative. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Loneoutdoorsman
1 year ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Hi Diane
Ey had a bumper stickers made up. “Want to keep getting older? Don’t knock on my door in the middle of the night.” Never had a knock!
AND “Is there life after death? Trespass here and find out.”
Ey know, Ey should lighten up. At 78 , not as tough as Ey used to think Ey was.
Your friend, Loneoutdoorsman

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago

Thanks, Loneoutdoorsman. Those are good messages, all right. Have a great day! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Bob Nettleton
1 year ago

I was elderly before now I’m young again.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Nettleton

Good job, Bob! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Jeanette Handling
1 year ago

When my cousin and I turned sixty, he said we were old, but we were the young of the old. When we turned seventy, I said, “Welcome to the middle-aged of the old.” When we turn eighty, we’ll be the old of the old. When we turn ninety, we’ll be the walking dead.

KellyR
1 year ago

I’m just 35, but somehow find myself in a 74 year old body. I think it is that new math they invented some years ago – there’s no way that 2019 minus 1945 can be 74. I just figure that one day I accidently walked into that space – time continuum thingy that I’ve heard talk about. Who would have thought that when I was 18 and fell off a box car and twisted my back that it would take this long to show up. I’m going to fight this all the way to the MRI machine!

Jerry
1 year ago

Years ago, I discovered in talking with individuals that it is one’s mental age that means more than one’s physical age. So I make it a practice of asking a person’s mental age as this to me is more of an indicator of what I have observed regarding a person’s outlook and enthusiasm for living. Yes, I may be 76 with aches and pains and some health issues, but mentally I’m only 35 looking forward to many more productive and creative years.

Katalin Heymann
1 year ago

People always think I’m younger than I am because I have very little grey at 67. In contrast, my sister was very grey in her 50s. Unfortunately, I have mobility issues and need a rollator or I would probably appear younger. Elderly to me has always been someone really wrinkled looking in the face and hands. My mom got some good genes because she will be 90 this year and she definitely looks younger. Unfortunately, Parkinson’s disease has left her legs immobile with weak arms and hands.