Are you elderly because you dress the part or because your age says you are?
According to the US Government people in the United States who are more than sixty years of age are commonly referred to as senior citizens or seniors. These terms refer to people whose stage in life is generally called old age. People are said to be senior citizens when they reach the age of sixty or sixty-five because those are the ages at which most people retire from the workforce.
I was shocked a few years ago when I discovered that one store I frequented set their senior discount at the age of 35!
In my case, as an elderly senior citizen, I dress the part because it is comfortable and say I am elderly because my age says I must be. My grandkids don’t treat me like they think I am elderly, so maybe I am not. I have trouble hearing so I am elderly. That is a physical condition anyone of any age can have and can be adjusted with a mechanical device, so maybe I am not. When I have to walk slowly, I feel elderly. When I can walk at a good pace, I am young at heart and not elderly. I tell myself that age is just a number, but my body says differently. My hair is falling out, a sign of old age. I have had both knees replaced, another sign. My back hurts all the time for which I have been told there is no cure. My eyesight is not as clear as I would like. I think I am elderly.
My neighbor is 9 years older than I. She lives alone, has no husband, no children, no siblings, no relatives, but several friends. She has glaucoma, but no other medical ailments. She has all her teeth, doesn’t wear glasses, but does have a hearing loss, she drives, although not at night, she does all her own housework, shopping, attends church and goes to a yoga class once a week. She even takes care of bill paying and other business matters for a younger woman and takes her to the doctor on a regular basis. My neighbor is 91 years old. Because of that number she must be elderly, but I would describe her as spry. She will probably outlive me.
Many people, men as well as women, attempt to stave off the dreaded appearance of old age with plastic surgery. These procedures are very costly and often do not have the desired effect. Wrinkles are everywhere on the body. It’s not possible to tighten up every inch of skin.
I tell my friends that I read the obituary column every morning to make sure that my name isn’t there, but actually I do it to check on people I have lost contact with. It seems that many of the deceased are younger than I am. So if I am elderly I am still fortunate.