At What Age Are We “Old”?
This book is written for those who self-identify as an older adult and have had the privilege of growing old. I am often asked, “At what age is someone ‘old’?” When I worked as a service line administrator for a senior health service line, I was frequently asked about the ages of my target audience. I was also asked about when a person falls into the “senior” category.
In the United States, a geriatrician or physician who specializes in the care of older adults may want to begin seeing a patient at the age of sixty-five for an initial “Welcome to Medicare” visit. Thereafter, this doctor will want to see the patient yearly for a wellness visit and as needed for injuries or illnesses. A geriatrician may consider ages 65 to 75 as “young-old,” 75 to 85 as “old,” and 85 and beyond as “old-old.”
A clinical nurse educator once told me that aging begins in our early twenties and, once puberty ends, our bodies begin a gradual transition toward aging. How gradual this transition will be over time varies for each of us. I don’t advocate that we are “old” soon after puberty, and I don’t advocate that becoming “old” begins during our “Welcome to Medicare” visit. The actual year or years we transition into growing old are based on many factors. For some, a “growing old” feeling may begin during the decade leading into retirement. For others, it begins at the onset of retirement. For some, it begins well past retirement, after new routines or social circles are formed. For many, the “growing old” feeling is never fixed—it ebbs and flows depending upon health, physical function, socialization, and other factors.
With this book, I want to avoid slotting people into a category based on age, and help people overcome feeling stuck due to more years lived. I’m recommending a framework for affirmations to help older adults do amazing things—be more amaging™! This framework, described in chapter two, is a point of reference—similar to a compass—that guides and moves you forward. When used in its entirety, I refer to this framework as an Amaging™ Affirmation. Like the little engine, your joints, brain speed, strength, and physical function may not be where they were in your earlier years, or you may think they fall short.
Throughout this book, you’ll find many examples of Amaging™ Affirmations. The examples I have included relate to wellness habits and positive aging, such as becoming more physically active, eating less sugar, reducing portion sizes, fostering friendships, improving a prayer habit, and more. You will also find step-by-step instructions to help you create your own Amaging™ Affirmations to keep you chugging forward, enjoying the journey with amaging™ momentum.
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