Seniors: Categories of Aging

Oct 28th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Second guessing the audience that comes to this site is something of a conundrum. After all, the venerable AARP accepts members at age 55.  Baby Boomers are included now as among those who are recognized as seniors.  Persons retire as early as 50, some at 60, and so on.  The characteristic cut off between yesterday and today for those who were achieving the goal of retirement had always been 65.  No more.  Now, categories extend, depending on those doing the defining,  from as early as 45.  The longevity of so many today carries the labeling from then to 100 and more.  That represents a polyglot of ages, attitudes, dispositions, perceptions, backgrounds, and prejudices  and persuasions.  

A span of more than 50 years embraces all manner of agendas, needs, expectations.. How does one go about addressing such a wide and diverse audience?  the recent retiree has needs and questions far removed from the one who is 83 and beginning to suffer dementia.  The 90 year old whose issues are much more centered around health concerns is in a different world from the one who still enjoys skiing in winter and hiking in spring and fall. 

Bridging this variety of interests is like building a crossing across the ocean from the shores of the United States to Europe. Testing ideas that have some middle ground appeal is a daily challenge.

What are the common denominators to persons past 45 or 55?  Survival may be one, sustaining good health, maintaining intellectual curiosity, keeping fit, nurturing good and positive relationships, looking out for financial welfare, enjoying family, discovering a reason to be, avoiding defeatism and pessimism, showing a willingness to get outside oneself, discovering your own foundations for being, demonstrating charitable and caring behavior, and, if you need others, go to the Archive listing for Senior Moments. 

The fact is we try to traverse all over the map for destinations and journeys that lead Senior Citizens to places and concepts needing deeper exploration and examination.  It is a way for us to have a reason to be, to unfold ideas and experiences that are not alone to our own existence.  It is a means for pushing the envelope.  It keeps us abreast of many goings on in our time and world.  it lets us expand beyond the moment.  It wards off boredom. 

Perhaps, the intent of this column is to invite your examination of your own category.  Where do you fall in the mix?  What comprises your searches?  Where are you on the aging journey?  When do you allow yourself to be pushed in strange and unknown directions? 

Your category of aging is not a niche or a slot or a box into which you must fit.  It is only that period in your life in which you make choices as to be and do and find what you want to be and do and find. It is not a period to begin giving up, though some may be required.  It is a time for taking on and making the daily intercourse with life as fulfilling as you can.  Select your category and start filling in the blanks.



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