According to the Readers Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder, gerontology is defined as the scientific study of old age, the process of ageing, and the special problems of old age.
hmmm.. ok, but what do you call yourself when like me you do not regard yourself as being old?
A definition I can live with was published in an oldish book I have titled ” Fitness for the over 60s” (Piatkus 2002) and I quote here:
” HOW OLD IS ‘OLD’ ?
The definition of an older person varies not only according to place but also time. “Elderly’ once described people over 65, but now defines those over 75. Much as we dislike being categorised, it helps to have an idea of when to expect shades of change to take place. Even though it is Body Age, not actual age, that counts.
A recent sensible set of definitions by gerontologists re-draws the age boundaries.
50 to 65 Mature
65 to 75 Senior
75 to 90 Elderly
90 to 115 Aged
The reason for these new definitions is the population explosion in the older generation, which now spans an age range of more than 40 years. At present, women outnumber men by three to one. It is projected, however, that by the year 2026 older women will outnumber men by two to one. We are all living longer, and by the year 2000 the over 65 group will account for 30% of the population. It will be a powerful economic and social force. ”
So, in terms of the above, I have only just graduated from ‘ Mature’ to ‘Senior’ and I can live with that!