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Old 01-11-2010, 09:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What is 'old?'

...In terms of people?

For years, I considered 50+ to be old. But that's so changed for me now. My best friend, who's also an ex, just turned 49 in November. But he's far from 'old' in my eyes, visually and mentally. My parents are both in their early 60's, but my Mom does not look or act old to me. Dad's a different story - he's not looking too hot. Long story. Mom's trying to tell me how 40 is the new 30, to make me feel better about things. It's so cute when she tries lol.

What is 'old' to you? Is there a cut off age or something? Maybe a definition?

...and note: no offense to the old members here at TFP. :hugz:
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's a relative term, intended to describe a different age depending upon context. I don't think that any one answer would be appropriate.

If a 10-year-old child tells me that I'm old, I'm not about to take it very seriously.
If a close friend tells me I'm starting to look old, I'll take it more to heart and try to get more rest, to take better care of my body...

Though in the context that you're asking, I would pinpoint someone who is in poor health and above age 70 as "old". If they're 78 and running marathons, they are far from old.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Perhaps I should change the word from 'old' to 'elderly.'

On the news, a story came up on how an elderly man was rescued from his car that drove off into a deep canyon. Well, how old is this guy?

My friend, the ex mentioned above - his parents are in their mid-70's and both are avid tennis players. They're in much better shape than either of my parents could hope to be. So are they elderly?
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When I was little, 20 was old. Now I'm in my 20s and 60s seem old. When I'm 60s...fuck knows.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Age is an interesting concept. I am a student in human development, and am taking adult development and aging this term as part of my degree program.

There are different components to age, given that chronological age alone is often not enough to give us a picture of someone's age: functional age, chronological age, biological age, psychological age, and social age. Functional age looks at a person's ability to draw on multiple abilities in order to function and be self-sufficient. Chronological age is the number of years that have elapsed since the person's birth. Biological age is an estimate of the person's position within their potential life span. Psychological age refers to a person's ability to adapt to changing environmental demands. "Young" minds are more flexible than "old" minds, in terms of psychological age. Social age refers to the social roles people hold for themselves and those that people impose upon them--i.e. motherhood; regardless of her chronological age, her social age is motherhood.

So it's really more complicated than it looks at first blush, but then most things involving human development are. I try not to think of people as old or elderly, because oftentimes the people themselves don't think of themselves as being old or elderly. Aging, perhaps.

I think one of the ideas you are trying to get at, woods, is the concept of frailty. There is no good definition for what frailty is; rather, it is more or less the sum of various age-related problems. Sarcopenia is the inevitable, age-related atrophy of skeletal muscles, and it contributes considerably to frailty. Osteoporosis contributes to frailty too, as does the loss of the senses.

Thanks to modern medicine, increased nutrition, and knowledge of the benefits of physical activity (even in older folks), we now possess the ability to stave off frailty. This is a tremendous gain. For example, one of my SO's grandmothers would be considered frail. She started having some health problems a few years ago now that kept her from staying active; even after these health problems were resolved, she remained inactive, and became frail. The other, only a few years younger, is much more active, and won't let anything--even a knee replacement--keep her from being active. The difference between the two is striking. I would consider one "old", but not the other, despite the fact that they're not that different in chronological age.

The ultimate lessons? STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE. Go beyond cardio. Sure, it's great for your heart to be healthy, but the other two big components of frailty are sarcopenia (loss of muscle) and osteoporosis (loss of bone density), both of which are prevented with resistance exercise. It's also good for your brain. STAY MENTALLY ACTIVE. Keep reading, doing puzzles, whatever it takes to keep your brain sharp and involved, as well as flexible. STAY SOCIALLY ACTIVE. This is a good thing for a variety of reasons.

So what is 'old'? Good question.
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Last edited by snowy; 01-11-2010 at 01:05 PM..
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you for that reply, snowy. Good one .

---------- Post added at 02:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:05 PM ----------

Oh and just to add real quick - Mom has severe arthritis in her knees, for starters. She finally saw a doctor about it and he prescribed an anti-inflammatory / pain reliever for it. She can stand up and walk like a person who's not in pain now. Like night and day - overnight - she's walking completely different. It's like she lost 20 years of damage. I mean, she didn't, but you know what I mean. She looks so much different to me now. This is good.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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When dealing with sexual attraction:

50 for men, 30 for women.

that's my imaginary numbers.

I only say that cuz guys like brad pitt, clooney, connery, patrick stewart etc.. old bastards but still people pitter patter about that shit.

don't really see that kind of treatment with women, and in my experience, once you hit 30 you'll notice a huge rampup in the single mothers category, or girls who stopped taking care of themselves after they got out of college. Vs guys who tend to wind up working physical labor jobs etc... (not to say there are a fair share of slovenly single fathers at that age either)

when dealing with health, I'd say 40 for both, generally that seems to be the average age when your body starts being a little shit and rebelling on you, tho I guess your metabolism can go to hell when you hit 30 too from what I've seen.

man, i've got so much to look forward to.... *sigh*
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If we took the age of the universe and placed it in the time frame of one year in our Julian calendar, the entire known history of human exisitence would take place in the last 10 seconds of December 31st.

So play tennis or don't, you will be gone in a blink of the all-seeing cosmic eye.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shauk View Post
when dealing with health, I'd say 40 for both, generally that seems to be the average age when your body starts being a little shit and rebelling on you, tho I guess your metabolism can go to hell when you hit 30 too from what I've seen.
I wish I saw this on the calendar. Once I hit 30, it's been all downhill for me. Yes, I could work a little harder on the food choices and workouts. But I'll admit, being with someone who tells me how much he loves my body makes me lazy. 'oh I'm fine because he loves me this way.' Bah.

Now I have yo-yo'd all my life. But I was keeping steady from about 25-30. Yeah, fear the turn of 30. Have a game plan ready. I do highly recommend this.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I just watched this interesting video on TED... "How to live to be 100+"... definitely worth watching if you have 20 mins.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/da...to_be_100.html
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm only 27 but my kids make me feel older...a lot older
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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When I was much younger, being old or not was based mostly on the number of years. Now that I'm up there, it's more attitude and physical condition.

I remember being a little kid and thinking that my (then 36 year old) mom was "old"....now that would be a young babe to me, and people would bug me about dating such a young woman....well so would my wife but I mean relatively speaking.

Not many years ago 60 seemed older to me than it seems now that I'm 60. I definitely don't feel as young as I used to but I'm planning to have at least another 30 good years, hopefully even break 100, and that's time to do plenty more good living...so that idea makes me feel "less old" now. There are SO MANY cool things I've never done but that are still well within my capability for doing, that I can't waste my time worrying about a couple things I can't do anymore. Fortunately, I'm not in bad shape and I have a pretty positive attitude.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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"old" is a state of mind...
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You are old. Perpetually.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giant Hamburger View Post
If we took the age of the universe and placed it in the time frame of one year in our Julian calendar, the entire known history of human exisitence would take place in the last 10 seconds of December 31st.

So play tennis or don't, you will be gone in a blink of the all-seeing cosmic eye.
I have always felt so inferior and unworthy of acknowledgment by the universe.

this just drives it home.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle phil View Post
"old" is a state of mind...
When you are as old as that old coot, you are old.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shauk View Post
I have always felt so inferior and unworthy of acknowledgment by the universe.

this just drives it home.
Take pride in the fact that the inscrutable universe deemed you worthy enough to lend you its precious carbon, if but for the smallest portion of a fraction of a second.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I wonder if we're little carbon processors and space matter is distributed processing.

We'll just get sucked in to the interwebs of space when we die.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Old and elderly imply different things to me. Elderly certainly has an implication of frailty about it. My dad is 'old' (mid 60s), but I'd not call him elderly. His mum is late 90's, can hardly see or hear and walks with the aid of a 'wheely walker'. She is definitely elderly.

As others have said, context for 'old' is important.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:31 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordEden View Post
When you are as old as that old coot, you are old.
short is the precursor to "old..."
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:58 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woos View Post
Perhaps I should change the word from 'old' to 'elderly.'

On the news, a story came up on how an elderly man was rescued from his car that drove off into a deep canyon. Well, how old is this guy?

My friend, the ex mentioned above - his parents are in their mid-70's and both are avid tennis players. They're in much better shape than either of my parents could hope to be. So are they elderly?
Follow me, you should change the word from 'old' to 'young'. It better true.
See you, very young.
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:24 PM   #23 (permalink)
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anywhere between 20 to 40 years older than I am at the time of the question.
based on attitude.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:10 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I think elderly is someone that is over 70. Elderly to me is mostly about external appearance.

That said, I have just this year started to feel "old". I am starting to notice my age when I see pictures of myself. I just wish my sense of self would catch up. I still feel like I am around 25 to 30.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:24 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle phil View Post
short is the precursor to "old..."
Wait, I thought being bald was. Speaking of, how is that hair hat working out for you? Fooled anyone yet?
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:38 AM   #26 (permalink)
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You know you are getting old when you do more and more for the last time, and less and less for the first time.

My grandfather took up tennis when he was 64. He lost out in the semi-finals of a master's tournament when he was 67. He told me he wasn't disappointed... learning to accept losing was all part of growing up.

In my younger days I studied to be a biochemist. Didn't work out, so I did a Commerce degree. Didn't like that so I did a qualifying year in Psychology and started work on my Masters. Never completed that, took up with computers. Got reasonably comfortable with that and started studying French. I did some personal financial counseling. Then I got an accounting designation. I worked for a number of years as a forecaster and statistician/computer modeler.

As you can see, I'm very confused. I have decided that when I grow up I want to be either a fireman or a jet fighter pilot.

GETTING older is mandatory... GROWING older is optional
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:40 AM   #27 (permalink)
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60+
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:30 AM   #28 (permalink)
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To quote Deanna Carter, "I still remember when thirty was old." It kind of blows my mind that I'm now older than nearly everyone I saw as "old" when I was a kid.

My definition of "old" keeps changing. I don't think I've used the word in quite a while, to be honest... when describing age, I'll say "older" (in comparison to me), or just give their general age.

I'm now approaching what I used to think of as old... but I certainly don't feel old. In some ways, I feel like a kid who's just playing at being an adult. It's a strange feeling.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:50 AM   #29 (permalink)
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"old" is a state of mind...
This about sums it up for me too. Age is just a number, you are only as old as you feel. Some days I feel young, some days I feel frail and old. On those days, I just have to work harder to make myself feel young again. Kids can make you feel old, if you let them. If I say "I can't play with you today because I can't sit on the floor, or I have to do chores"... that is being old. Get on the floor and play that game with your son/daughter, go outside and run around a bit. Put the dust rag away, the dust will be there when you are done playing. It does wonders for your heart, your mind and your soul. My kid's paternal grandmother swears that my kids (and probably the rest of the 16 grandchildren she has) have kept her young. It has. At age 73, she is still very involved in their life, still plays games with them, still colors with them, etc.

I am 40, and proud of it.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:22 AM   #30 (permalink)
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"old" is a state of mind...
As an "old" thirtysomething, I often find myself envious of "young" fiftysomethings.
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