Health And Wellness

What Age Is Considered Middle Aged Vs Old Vs Elderly?

Photo: Mohammad Metri on Unsplash
What Age Is Considered Old? How To Make Peace With The Aging Process

There are people that claim age is all in your head, or that perhaps it’s an attitude of youthfulness that prevents aging from happening.

Others say age is just a number and you're only as old as you feel.

While all of that may be true for some, the fact of the matter is that no one escapes aging at the cellular level. It can be delayed, hidden, or camouflaged, but eventually your cells will break down and the inescapable reality of aging catches up to everyone.

In the 1960's and 1970's, anyone over the age of 35 to 40 was considered old. But now, anyone who is 60 or 70 years of age views themselves as if they are 35 or maybe a 40 years of age.

What age is considered middle aged vs. old vs. elderly?

Definitions vary, but in the most technical terms: these three age ranges are typically categorized as follows:

Of course, none of it is all that simple.

RELATED: Why Some People Seem To Be Aging Faster Than Others

When I was a little girl, my mother worked out to fitness and nutrition guru Jack LaLanne on her black and white TV.

Today there are a plethora of workout options available to us, ranging from meditative Yoga to rigorous caveman-style workouts, and everything in between.

Fashionable clothing are no longer available only to young, rich and beautiful people under the age of 25. Even gray hair can be fashionable, especially with fashion-forward teens dying their own locks in silvery shades.

No, If you are looking for a simple definition of what it means to be "old," you'll have to look beyond the physical attributes that once determined how old someone was.

And of course, there are generational differences to take into account as well.

Your use of technology and sense of responsibility are now factors that greatly impact whether others see you as old.

  • If your email address ends in roadrunner, you are showing your age.
  • If texting someone a simple message takes you longer than two seconds, you may be considered old.
  • If you need a 10 year old neighbor to turn on your TV — or, let's be honest, to tell you Netflix is where it's at — it’s a sign you are aging.
  • If you have no idea what an emoji or a meme is, or if you can't understand the joke when someone shares one with you, you may be getting old.
  • If your vacations happen onboard cruise ships rather than volunteering to gather plastic waste in an effort to save the ocean, you're likely growing old.
  • If you're still hard at work with retirement looming closely and you're completely baffled by the 20-something co-worker who just quit to find their purpose, you just might be old.

RELATED: The Genetic Factor That Makes Some Girls Age Faster Than Their Friends

Even if you find yourself relating to the scenarios above, there are things you can do to slow the aging process, or at the very least, to help you make peace with "getting old."

Here are six things you can do now to make peace with growing older:

1. Keep working out and eating a healthful balanced diet.

2. Stay relevant by keeping up with fashion trends and embracing the gray hair those young folks love so much.

3. Get informed about the latest technology (maybe by asking your 10-year-old grandchild or neighbor for help).

4. Strike up a conversation with a coffee barista to learn what interests them. For some reason, they seem to have a pulse on what’s hip.

5. Plan a vacation with a purpose. Maybe spending a year cleaning up an ocean is a little ambitious, but what about a short-term mission trip or making a pit stop to volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

6. Keep on working hard at your job, but consider taking advantage of the vacation time you've built up and going somewhere you've been dreaming of forever.

Most of all, if you want to stay young for as long as possible, be interested in others.

Ask people questions about who they are, and see what you can learn from them.

Keep an open mind as you go — and always remember to breathe!

RELATED: These 15 Quotes Prove Getting Older Is Freaking Awesome

Joan Nosal is an executive coach and coach specializing in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and focusing on areas of personal development, relationship building and stress management who helps people manage stress through Positive Intelligence (PQ). For more information, visit her website.