Navigating the balance between defining the over 70’s and labelling them
23 February 2020 | 0 Comment
In a recent blog article, Paul Moorhead, Kraydel’s Chief Research Officer asked the question “How Old is Old?” and explored some of the terminology used to define the over 70’s.
The use of terms such as “old age” and “the elderly” are fraught with stigma and negative stereotypes with frailty and ill-health.
In the US the term “seniors” has some currency but in the rest of the English-speaking world, it’s less used. In part this could be because we don’t refer to the young as “junior citizens,” so why do we call the over 70’s “senior citizens”? The term “elder” has been used but it’s a term that also has religious and cultural connotations.
So, we wanted a term that would remove ideology from aging. After all. It’s just a process that happens over time and should neither confer any special status nor remove any social standing. It’s just a natural part of life.
After much research and debate, we settled on the term “older adults” – taken with the view that it both relates to the individual as a person and acknowledges that we are all older than some else. The term has gained traction across the health and social care sectors, and with the terms young adult and adult are in everyday use we concluded that “older adult” provided a clear way of defining individuals without labelling them.
There’s no doubt that many older adults encounter ageism in various forms on a regular basis and our way of addressing this is by defining and explaining the terminology we use and why we use it.
Moving forward we will also be talking more and more about terms such as “Longevity”, “Life Long Ageing” and “Ageing in Place”. We want to expand on the positive message that ageing is a lifelong experience for everyone and should be managed appropriately to ensure you maintain independence and happiness alongside dignity and respect.
For us, Ageing in Place is extremely important, and we seek to show that independence can enable more older adults to remain at home – even when being cared for. This is supported by AgeTech such as Kraydel which will help older adults to stay connected to their carers and loved ones from the comfort of their home.