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65 Years old is still young!

How old is old? World Health Organization (WHO) had declared that 65 years old is still considered young. Before, based on the Friendly Societies Act (1875) in Britain, old was defined by age of 50. The UN has not adopted a standard criterion but lately 60 years old was referred as the border age to the word “old”. However the health organization had done a new research recently, according to average health quality and life expectancy, and defined a new criterion that divides human age as follows:

  • 0-17 years old: underage

  • 18-65 years old: youth/young people

  • 66-79 years old: middle-aged

  • 80-99 years old: elderly/senior

  • 100+ years old: long-lived elderly

The anthropological study conducted in the late 1970s based the classification on three main categories, which are:

  1. chronology;

  2. change in social role (i.e. change in work patterns, adult status of children and menopause); and

  3. change in capabilities (i.e. invalid status, senility and change in physical characteristics).

Of all three, the change in social role is the predominant means of defining old age.

According to this change in social role, the standard retirement age used in the USA is 66 years old and in Canada is 65 years old—which both are gradually changing into 67. Up to 2013, only less than 5 percent of the population was over 65, which is projected to double the under 5% by year 2050. Although there is still no certain boundary to define old age and is different in each countries, it is agreed for now to say that 65 years old is still a young age.

Reported by Victoria Tunggono

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