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University of Illinois Extension

How Old Is Old?

How does a person have to be to be considered "old?" Are you old when you reach a certain age? We are all aging and getting older. You are a day older today than you were yesterday.

An old man thinking about the inevitable.

Because many people retire at that age, 65 is sometimes considered the start of old age. A 65-year-old person may be productive and healthy, but that person is considered an "older" person in today's world.

A person is considered even older at about age 75. Many people are still active at this age, but they may notice that their hearing is not as good or they are not seeing as well as they did before.

People who are over 85 are considered the "oldest" of the old. Adults who are 85 or older may walk a bit slower, use a cane, or have trouble hearing, but this does not mean that all older people will need a cane or a hearing aid. And even though some older people have physical limitations, they can and do enjoy life. It is just more difficult for them to do some things.

In this section of Walk in My Shoes, you will learn the concepts of old, older, and oldest.

Be sure to do these activities in the order they are listed.

  1. Portraits of Myself
  2. My Older Friends
  3. People Portrait
  4. Interview an Older Friend