How old is an Elderly Person?

There are three aspects of aging: biological, psychological, and social. Most people transition through life stages in characteristically orderly ways, so in most western countries, you would be considered an elderly person at the age of 65 to 70. This is the age when most people retire and start receiving some form of pension.

The normal aging process has five primary stages:

  • Independence
  • Interdependence
  • Dependency
  • Crisis management
  • End of life

Independence

This stage of adult life means that a person doesn’t need help with activities of daily living as they can handle pretty much all of their needs on their own. Although mental and physical health may be declining, this decline doesn’t impair a person’s day-to-day life.

People in this stage of aging are typically between 60 and 70 years of age.

Interdependence

At this stage of aging, physical activity and mental health may be deteriorating, making cognitive tasks and ADLs more taxing. An aging person may need a caregiver to help them with activities of daily living such as cooking, grooming, driving, and similar.

People in this stage of aging typically in their 70s and 80s.

Dependency

By this stage of aging, a person typically cannot handle their ADLs independently. More than 30 percent of U.S citizens aged 65 years or older have some disability that prevents them from living independently and actively. According to the ADA statistics, these numbers increase with chronological age, do more than 50 percent of seniors aged 75 and older experience some disabling condition.

Most aging adults develop chronic diseases such as hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, or dementia. Other seniors experience injuries or develop mobility problems, seeing or hearing, impairing their quality of life dramatically.

Many aging adults reach this stage by their late 70s and beyond.

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