Human Planet Explorer
How old is old? If you live in a culture with an average lifespan of around forty years, your old age might be very different to someone who lives in Japan where people regularly live past 100. Will you be put on a pedestal or in an old people’s home? It all depends on where you live.
We will be adding to this section over the coming months.
Old age consists of ages nearing or surpassing the average life span of human beings, and thus the end of the human life cycle. Euphemisms and terms for old people include, old people (worldwide usage), seniors (American usage), senior citizens (British and American usage), older adults (in the social sciences), the elderly, and elders (in many cultures including the cultures of aboriginal people).
Old people often have limited regenerative abilities and are more prone to disease, syndromes, and sickness than younger adults. For the biology of ageing, see senescence. The medical study of the aging process is gerontology, and the study of diseases that afflict the elderly is geriatrics. The elderly also face other social issues such as retirement, loneliness and ageism, unlike younger people.
Because "the precise onset of old age varies culturally and historically", old age is "a social construct" rather than a definite "biological stage".
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