I edit quite a few radio news scripts that mention the word "elderly" - "elderly man rescued, after falling through ice," "elderly wrong-way driver narrowly escapes death," "elderly woman shoots neighbor's rooster."
After awhile, I began wondering how old you have to be, in order to be considered elderly. Medical treatment of the elderly (geriatrics) starts from the age of 65, and the Social Security Administration defines "elderly" as 65+. So that seems to wrap it up.
But then I found out the World Health Organization sets 55 as the beginning of old age in Africa. After that, I discovered a research study referring to folks from 65 through 74 as "early elderly" and people over 75-years-old as "late elderly."
So here I am, getting ready to turn 68 in a week or so, and I suddenly realize that I've become elderly without even knowing it.
Why didn't somebody tell me. dammit?!