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Is there a word for people in the 80+ age group? I know octogenarian means 80-to-89-year-olds. Is there a word for people in their 80s, 90s, 100s, etc., inclusive?


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I have not encountered any word for people 80+. For me it's very custom that no such word should be invented for that. What if I like to choose only 50 to 70 years old? Or 30+? – Lester Nubla Oct 25 '13 at 2:44
up vote 3 down vote accepted

For old in general, "superannuated." Otherwise, you'd have to go with "octogenarian, nonagenarian and centenarian," or possibly, "post-septuagenarian."

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I suppose you're looking for a generic word like children; teenagers; youths; and the middle-aged. There is pensioners, a BrEng expression that includes anyone who is retired, which more or less corresponds to the over mid-sixties, but they include, ironically, people who are too young for your criterion.

Personally, I would classify a 75+ year-old, as being elderly. Someone approaching their 80s will be experiencing some of the symptoms associated with aging, and I have, in my mind, associated the elderly with fragility and vulnerability. I know this is not true for everyone, and I'm living in Italy where the average life expectancy is around 82 or 83 for women and a little less for men, but I think that we would agree that the majority of over 80-year-olds require some form of medical assistance.

To sum up, there isn't a term which accurately describes such a wide-ranging age group because they have little in common with one another. A 90-year-old is usually experiencing severe problems of mobility and probably experiencing some form of dementia too, so I wouldn't group them with octogenarians. And those "lucky" enough to past the 100 year-old-mark, generally speaking, have lost their independence and are being cared for (or should be) by family members or as guests in nursing homes.

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I see "pensioners" used a lot in BE publications. It isn't used in the USA much, except to refer to folks who are actually gathering pensions, which are a perk that few companies here provide any more(note I'm not your downvoter. Just clarifying a point). – T.E.D. Oct 25 '13 at 22:01
Thanks @T.E.D.I should have clarified that pensioners is a BrEng expression as you correctly pointed out. Nevertheless, I do seemed to be plagued by anonymous downvoters recently shrugs. – Mari-Lou A Oct 25 '13 at 22:12
Cheer up, 95-y.o. are only slightly more than 50% likelihood of dementia. (The only one I know does, however, have serious mobility issues. Total mental clarity.) – Andrew Lazarus Oct 26 '13 at 6:31

protected by tchrist Apr 18 at 4:47

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