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Gerontologists have recognized the very different conditions that people experience as they grow older within the years defined as old age.In developed countries, most people in their 60s and early 70s are still fit, active, and able to care for themselves.The young are "consistent in their negative attitude" toward the old.In 2014, a documentary film called The Age of Love used humor and poignant adventures of 30 seniors who attend a speed dating event for 70- to 90-year-olds, and discovered how the search for romance changes; or does not change; from a childhood sweetheart to older age.Other writers treat the perceptions of middle-age people regarding their own old age. Studies find that many people in the 55–75 range can postpone morbidity by practicing healthy lifestyles. Minois comments that the scribe's "cry shows that nothing has changed in the drama of decrepitude between the age of the Pharaoh and the atomic age" and "expresses all the anguish of old people in the past and the present". been with us since the stage of primitive society; it was both the source of wisdom and of infirmity, experience and decrepitude, of prestige and suffering." "Beauty and strength" were esteemed and old age was viewed as defiling and ugly.These discourses take part in a general idea of successful ageing. Lillian Rubin, active in her 80s as an author, sociologist, and psychotherapist, opens her book 60 on Up: The Truth about Aging in America with "getting old sucks. Rubin contrasts the "real old age" with the "rosy pictures" painted by middle-age writers. Morrison delineates the heroism required by old age: to live through the disintegration of one's own body or that of someone you love. Old age was reckoned as one of the unanswerable "great mysteries" along with evil, pain, and suffering.The age which qualifies for senior citizen status varies widely.In governmental contexts, it is usually associated with an age at which pensions or medical benefits for the elderly become available.
In commerce, some businesses offer customers of a certain age a "senior discount".
Old age refers to ages nearing or surpassing the life expectancy of human beings, and is thus the end of the human life cycle.
Terms and euphemisms include old people, elderly (worldwide usage), seniors (American usage), senior citizens (British and American usages), older adults (in the social sciences), the elderly, and elders (in many cultures—including the cultures of aboriginal people).
Antonio de Guevara's utopian nation "had a custom, not to live longer than sixty five years". Rather than condemn the practice, Bishop Guevara called it a "golden world" in which people "have overcome the natural appetite to desire to live".
Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People, a book about the test, reports that 80% of Americans have an "automatic preference for the young over old" and that attitude is true worldwide.