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Old? Elderly? Senior? No, Just Aging in Bellevue WA

Old? Elderly? Senior? No, Just Aging
At what age do you become an elderly person or a senior citizen?
By Jane Glenn Haas

A few days ago, a young gal asked me if I wrote about "senior citizens." I told her I hadn’t written about them in years. In fact, I rarely even write about "seniors" anymore.

I’m not alone.

In its recent magazine, AARP avoided the word "seniors" until a health piece about "An ER for You" forced them to talk about a 65-plus facility designed for "seniors."

There might be references to "Medicare recipients" and other indicators of age, but that nasty word "senior"—made even nastier when followed by "citizen"—is carefully avoided.

Wondering why? Go back and check out that definition of "senior citizens"—the one we operated under for years. It says people 60-plus are "elderly." Indeed, until 2000 the U.S. Census classified anyone 54-plus as "near elderly" and those over 60 as "elderly."

Now there’s nothing wrong with being elderly. I hope I am some day.

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