Old age

A smiling old woman from Greece, toasting a cola drink (top) and a smiling 93-year-old man from Pichilemu, Chile (bottom)

Old age is the range of ages nearing and surpassing the life expectancy of human beings; it is the end of the human life cycle. People of old age are also referred to as: old people, elderly, seniors, senior citizens, elders, or older adults.[1]

Old age is not a definite biological stage: the chronological age denoted as "old age" varies culturally and historically.[2] Some disciplines and domains focus on the aging and the aged, such as the organic processes of aging (senescence),[3] medical studies of the aging process (gerontology),[4] diseases that afflict older adults (geriatrics),[5] technology to support the aging society (gerontechnology), and leisure and sport activities adapted to older people (such as senior sport).

Old people often have limited regenerative abilities and are more susceptible to illness and injury than younger adults. They face social problems related to retirement, loneliness, and ageism.[6][7]

In 2011, the United Nations proposed a human-rights convention to protect old people.[8]

  1. ^ Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition (American Psychological Association, 2009) ISBN 1433805618[page needed]
  2. ^ Old age. Oxford Reference. 2006. doi:10.1093/acref/9780198568506.001.0001. ISBN 9780198568506. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  3. ^ "Senescence – definition of senescence by The Free Dictionary". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  4. ^ "Gerontology – definition of gerontology by The Free Dictionary". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  5. ^ "Geriatrics – definition of geriatrics by The Free Dictionary". Thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  6. ^ "Jeremy Hunt highlights plight of 'chronically lonely' – BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-10-18. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  7. ^ "How can we reduce the toll of loneliness in older adults?". NIHR Evidence (Plain English summary). 2021-09-30. doi:10.3310/collection_47889.
  8. ^ "Human rights of older persons". OHCHR.org. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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