Age May Be Just A Number, But Which One?

Should you keep quiet about your age, or wear it with pride? The importance we attach to age is relatively recent.

Age can be measured in more ways than one, say both sociologists and biologists. There is of course chronological age, but there is also cellular and social aging. The search for new definitions of old — and young!

Source: Age May Be Just A Number, But Which One?

It’s interesting to note that the threshold for old has changed dramatically over time. In the 17th and 18th centuries, at least in the West, 40 was the magic number. In the 19th century, that limit was pushed to 50. Nowadays, several studies show that people consider old age to begin at 69, on average. People under 25 believe it begins at 61, while those over 65 say it’s 77. And 8% of people say old begins at 80.



Meet the Internet’s most powerful warrior against ageism: Baddie Winkle.

Read more (and see the awesome pictures!!) at:

You can also see more pictures and follow her on




A more recent discrimination: Old Age

An informative post on ageism with some great links for further reading!

From guestwriters

Newer in the discrimination group is the age discrimination.

CD1jOfiUsAAVQijSince a few years we have seen, for acceptance for a new job, the age lowering, but for those who thought they had a good job we also saw that the age they were made redundant became lower.

The boom generation has to face that their children and grandchildren got a mark on their head with the notice ‘only to be used until this or that day’. Those children reaching their middle age are called in the office of their boss to hear the ‘news’ they may go home not to return again to work. When looking for an other job they are confronted with the remarks ‘over qualified’ or  ‘too old’.

In the previous centuries perhaps we also could have an age discrimination but than in the good sense, that how older a person got, how more he or…

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Declaring Independence from Ageism

I would like to dedicate this post to my husband’s super awesome Nan. She loved the 4th of July and her family would have reunions over the 4th to celebrate her birthday and her favorite holiday. 2015 is the first year we celebrate the 4th without her, as she passed this past October. Unfortunately, my husband and I couldn’t be with them in New Jersey this year to celebrate, and we are really missing the family this holiday.

nan hat

Nan opening birthday gifts at her 80th birthday tea party

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Redefining “old”

This is a re-post from The Telegraph, a UK news source. It’s about how the current generation of “older adults” are redefining what aging and what old means. This has been a hot topic in the field of Gerontology over the past decade or so, and there is a growing popular opinion that “old” doesn’t begin until age 75, whereas it currently is defined as starting at age 65.

65 year olds are considered “young-old” by Gerontology definition. This definition is based on former UK retirement age programs. The United Nations defines “old” as starting with age 60, and the WHO has even defined “old” as starting at age 50 for certain studies on aging in Africa (where life expectancy is lower than in Western countries). And, of course, if you ask people who are younger than 25, many of them will say that “old” starts in your 30s or 40s – ah, the follies of youth!

The interesting part is that in recent years, people are living healthy and active lives well into their 70s or 80s, and many are not retiring until after age 65. This is causing us to redefine “old” not only based on retirement ages, but also on the lives that people are living.

Popular Gerontology definitions of “old”:

Young-old:  ages 65-74

Middle-old:  ages 75-84

Oldest-old:  ages 85+

I am always a little happy inside when I hear people say, “I’m old” and I get to tell them that by definition, the earliest that one is considered old is age 65. Especially when they are under age 60. And I think they are a little happy inside to hear that as well 🙂

Middle age now lasts until 74 as baby boomers refuse to grow old

Old age does not begin until 74, researchers suggest in a new report which looks at the real impact of an ageing population

Old age does not begin until 74, researchers suggest in a new report which looks at the real impact of an ageing population

Old age does not begin until 74, researchers suggest in a new report which looks at the real impact of an ageing population Photo: Alamy

Combating ageism in disaster relief

With the tragic earthquake in Nepal earlier this week, I have been thinking a lot about the older adults in the area who are affected. My husband is currently doing his PhD on satellite imaging for disaster response and he probably is getting tired of me repeatedly redirecting conversations towards aging issues in his field 🙂

I came across several AARP articles on elderly and disaster relief after the Haiti earthquake in 2014 and thought it was timely to share it in light of the recent earthquakes. By the way, you can check out the latest earthquakes through this site.

When disaster strikes, older people face unique challenges that are often neglected, if not overlooked entirely. While many organizations are set up to meet the needs of children and younger adults, they are often ill-equipped to address the distinct needs of older people. Unfortunately, seniors are too often relegated to the sidelines, their plight undermined by their age, desensitizing others to their value along the spectrum of life.

Want to make a difference? Great! Check out AARP Foundation’s Emergency Fund page where you can directly donate to help the elderly in Nepal after the earthquake.

EMERGENCY: Help older victims of the Nepal earthquake – all gifts matched up to $225,000

On April 25, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal and neighboring countries with devastating force, killing thousands of people, injuring thousands more, and causing widespread destruction.

AARP Foundation has created a relief fund to help the victims of this disaster – especially the 600,000 people over age 60 who are expected to be affected. There is strong evidence that seniors experience disproportionate harm in the aftermath of natural disasters, and the impact for older people in Nepal is likely to be severe.

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How to really piss-off older people with bad advertising

As I was writing my post on The Rise of Aging-Friendly Stores, I came across this little gem (article below).

When working on starting up a business a few months ago, my business partner and I had a great discussion with Aging2.0 co-founder Stephen Johnston. We discussed how marketing with terms like “silver, age-friendly, 50+, and elderly” are not good to use, mostly because people want to be thought of as consumers, not an age group. As he said, “senior doesn’t sell.”

But we were running into problems with how people would find our services (consulting with businesses to make their electronic products and services more age-friendly). We wanted to use principles of Universal Design, which, in a nutshell, is designing so that all people, regardless of age or disability could use a product or service. And, while the companies may have a better understanding of how Universal Design can be applied, we still weren’t sure how to let aging adults know that we were making sure products and services were specifically for them.

Well, anyway, this article is a great addition to the conversation on marketing towards aging adults. A guide of what NOT to do!

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Aging and the Life-course

Report on life-course theory

I was asked to attend a WHO meeting on life-course theory as part of my internship with the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe. While I was there, I was working on the topics of eHealth and the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities (and trying to bridge the two). I was working in the Division of Non-communicable diseases and health promotion – Ageing, disability and long-term care. The team I was part of worked on the full spectrum of life, from before conception to aging, all with a focus on health promotion and reduction of non-communicable diseases.

This particular meeting was a brainstorming session on how the WHO is using the life-course perspective to address health promotion. I was particularly excited to attend because of my background in psychology and gerontology, where life-course theory has it’s roots.

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Dementia in the media

The power of words – choose your meaning wisely!

dementia-webpageI am re-blogging the blog I published yesterday for Dementia Alliance International, called Dementia in the media.It began with this:

“As the editor of an international advocacy and support group, of by and for people with dementia, I read or am referred to many articles in the media about dementia. Most of them require a comment from people living with dementia, in order to either re-claim our human rights, to request the same respect offered to everyone else in the community, or to complain about either the misconceptions and myths the articles portray, due to the ignorance of those without dementia, or the biases and prejudices of a few.

The media feels like a an ugly place to be these days, as we are regularly being referred to as sufferers, victims, demented, not all there, fading away, or in this disgraceful instance, we have dementia as a form…

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The Liberation of Growing Old