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What Age Makes You A Senior Citizen?

When we see our loved ones, especially our parents get older, many are left wondering at what age you are considered a senior. Strictly speaking, no official numerical figure defines the senior age in the US.

However, to give the word 'senior' definition, a Dell Webb survey on senior citizen age found that 96% of 50-year-olds don't consider themselves a senior citizen, with only 56% of 64-year-olds claiming that the term senior citizen applies to them.

Many people may not use the term senior citizen because they don't feel like a senior or aren't eligible for senior benefits like health care yet. Similarly, someone may not consider themselves an elderly person if they still feel like they're at the peak of health.

On the other hand, some self-proclaimed seniors acknowledge the senior citizen discounts they receive, including premium-free Medicare at 65 years of age. Thus, there are different definitions for what age an individual is considered a senior citizen.

Defining What Senior Citizen Means

Our attitudes are both reflected in and shaped by the words we use. It's crucial to keep in mind that a word's meaning might vary depending on usage, context, and cultural conventions. The following are some of the definitions and connotations of words that are frequently used to refer to older people:

  • Senior Citizen: This phrase, which can refer to either an elderly or retired individual, typically describes someone at least 60 or 65 years old.
  • Old: In the strictest sense, an old person is a person who has lived for a considerable amount of time. It is a phrase that is arbitrary by definition. Being "old" is generally perceived negatively in our youth-obsessed culture and is frequently associated with being useless, fragile, or old-fashioned.
  • Elderly: The simplest definition of elderly is someone who is well over middle age and in an advanced stage of life. However, there is disagreement among doctors as to what constitutes "elderly" age. Although the phrase can express sympathy or compassion, it frequently implies bad health or decreased capacity.
  • Geriatric: Age is not specifically stated in the geriatric definition. However, many people can start to benefit from geriatric care as soon as they become 60. However, using terms like "geriatric" or "of geriatric age" can imply that the subject is exhausted or senile.

What Does It Mean To Be Elderly?

As you can see, there is no straightforward response to the question of how old is "old." There are a few acknowledged definitions of old age, though:

  • Using chronology: When a specific amount of years have passed since your birth, you are considered elderly. However, depending on the situation, the exact amount can change significantly.
  • Based on social roles: When your children reach adulthood, when you become a grandparent, or when you leave the paid workforce, you are considered to be elderly.
  • By physical or medical condition: When you start to gain wrinkles, grey your hair, become physically fragile, or experience mental deterioration, you are considered old.

The Stereotypes That Come With Aging And Its Impact

It's common to associate loneliness, fragility, and decline with old age. On the other hand, it has also been portrayed as a period of liberty, joy, and prosperity. The experiences of each person are distinctive.

However, these modern-day aging stereotypes can significantly influence the choices people make and the attitudes they adopt. They may even impact people's physical and mental health.

Another study found that receiving unfavorable subliminal cues about aging increased cardiovascular stress in older persons both before and after intellectually taxing tasks like math tests. Even older adults who have unfavorable perceptions about themselves are less likely to consent to life-extension treatments, according to research.

It's interesting to note that age stereotypes may not always work as planned. Exposure to favorable age stereotypes made people feel older, according to a 2012 study published in The Journals of Gerontology of middle-aged (aged 36 to 60) and older persons (aged 61 and higher).

The reason for this, according to researchers, may be that the study participants believed they were younger than their actual age and that hearing encouraging words about aging helped them evaluate their age more properly.

What Benefits Do Senior Citizens Receive?

What Benefits Do Senior Citizens Receive

When a person becomes a senior citizen, they can enjoy many different perks. For instance, senior living comes with more affordable healthcare, and they'll gain access to a wide range of senior citizen-exclusive services.

With the improvements in life expectancy through the years, legislation has also moved the age requirement for full senior citizen social security benefits from 65 to 67, which has helped define senior citizen ages.

Moreover, census predictions demonstrate that by 2060 the senior population will double in size, from 46 million in 2014 to 98 million in 2060.

It might not seem like it at first, but the number of work-related perks, government assistance, and senior citizen services the elderly can get at this "old" stage of life is something to look forward to.

Embracing The Golden Years For A Senior

When you reach senior citizen age, it's time to make the most of the years you have left and prioritize your health and social life. With various investment opportunities, living options, age-appropriate hobbies, and more, it's important to take key steps to stay healthy and live longer.

A person who takes the time to surround themselves with people their age and pursue many social activities is more likely to enjoy their retirement and maximize their life expectancy.

Seniors And Aging In Place

For the elderly, growing older comes with greater life challenges year after year. Old age can lead to mobility issues, making it difficult to navigate around one's home. Others might become isolated depending on the years they've lived alone.

Some senior-appropriate options include aging in place (staying home as you age), independent living designed for those aged 55 and over in a senior community, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home.

A person of retirement age may find that independent living suits them if they can obtain care from a loved one or trusted professional. There may be no need to move out if you're surrounded by people who can help you with household chores.

On the other hand, someone might find that a retirement community can work better if they need a structured environment with group activities and meals provided on a regular schedule. Being surrounded by like-minded elderly individuals may also make a living in a senior home or community a more viable choice.

Before deciding on what type of senior living suits your lifestyle, you should think deeply about the following factors:

  • The need for physical and medical care
  • The location and accessibility to forms of transportation
  • The level of home maintenance required
  • The social and emotional needs
  • The financial capacity

Socializing Seniors

Many people care about what they'll do with all their free time when they reach a certain age. However, a person can still have fun and live life, especially in a vibrant retirement community.

A social person should have no problem making friends their age, especially as many older individuals can live more comfortably once they retire.

More often than not, joining a community with others who share your same interests can help you find new passions when you retire. Book clubs, painting classes, ballroom dancing, drama groups, tai chi, yoga, gardening, and meditation are just a few of the hobbies and clubs that the elderly can enjoy.

At a more advanced age, keeping your mind sharp is the secret to getting even older and wiser than you currently are. Don't forget fun outdoor activities like nature trail walks, picnics, visits to the park, and more.

Just because someone is old doesn't mean that they can't be a tech-savvy person. An elderly person can join many reputable online communities to find like-minded friends with niche interests.

Lastly, practice online safety no matter how much life experience you have!

Frequently Asked Questions About Seniors

Here are commonly asked questions about aging and becoming a senior citizen.

When is senior citizen day?

The one day seniors celebrate their relatively old age is the 21st of August. It's a fantastic day to show someone that you care by visiting local nursing homes, volunteering for projects that benefit the elderly, or taking advantage of special discounts geared towards seniors.

What is a normal heart rate for a senior citizen?

The normal heart rate for an older person is between 60 to 100 beats per minute. Seniors and other people who are vulnerable to heart disease should consider investing in health insurance to provide stable and affordable care.

Is 50 years old considered a senior citizen?

Not necessarily; by age 65 or thereabouts, most developed Western countries consider someone a senior. However, keep in mind that this figure is primarily dependent on retirement age and the age at which social benefits begin to accrue. Many people would not consider someone a senior until they're at least over the age of 70.

How much money can a senior citizen make?

At retirement age, a senior citizen can make some money on the side if they're after some extra income. Depending on your lifestyle, this figure can also vary depending on how well you invest.

How can you dress like a senior citizen?

At 65 years and older, you can dress appropriately for senior citizen age by wearing clothes that are comfortable and easy to move in. Make sure that your outfit is weather-appropriate, which is important, especially if the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse. Elderly adaptive clothing is specially designed for the specific challenges that senior citizens face.

While there is still much debate on the topic of 'how old is a senior,' there is no doubt that if you want to get to a ripe old age and live longer, stay active, keep track of your finances, and make sure that your living situation is best for you is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

For the latest mobility equipment, bathroom safety products, bed aids, and adaptive clothing, feel free to check out our eCommerce review community at Senior Strong.

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