As society continues to age and populations around the world grow older, language and terminology surrounding older adults are constantly evolving. One term that has seen a shift in recent years is “senior citizen.”
While this phrase was once the go-to descriptor for those in their later years, many have begun to question its relevance and appropriateness.
As a result, new terms have emerged that seek to more accurately reflect the diversity and complexity of older adults today. And is it truly based on the age you become a senior citizen?
What Are The New Names For Senior Citizens?
One term that has gained traction in recent years is “older adult.” This phrase seeks to shift the focus away from age and instead highlight the experiences and accomplishments of individuals in their later years.
The term also recognizes that older adults are a diverse group, with a wide range of interests, abilities, and lifestyles. By using “older adult,” individuals are acknowledging the diversity of experiences and perspectives that come with aging.
Another term that has gained popularity in recent years is “elder.” This term has been used for centuries in many cultures to refer to older adults who are respected and valued for their wisdom and life experience.
By using “elder,” individuals are recognizing the value and importance of older adults in their communities. This term also emphasizes the intergenerational nature of society, where older adults can share their knowledge and experience with younger generations.
A more specific term that has emerged in recent years is “age-in-place seniors.” This term refers to older adults who are choosing to remain in their own homes as they age, rather than moving into a retirement community or assisted living facility.
This term recognizes that many older adults want to maintain their independence and autonomy as they age and are taking steps to ensure they can do so. By using “age-in-place seniors,” individuals are acknowledging the agency and decision-making capabilities of older adults.
Another term that has gained popularity is “golden ager.” This phrase seeks to emphasize the positive aspects of aging, highlighting the opportunities for growth and enrichment that can come with later life. This term also recognizes the many contributions that older adults have made to society throughout their lives.
By using “golden ager,” individuals are celebrating the achievements and accomplishments of older adults, rather than focusing solely on their age.
One term that has been met with some controversy is “elderly.” While this term has been used for many years to describe older adults, many now view it as outdated and even offensive. The term can be seen as pejorative, emphasizing frailty and decline rather than the many positive aspects of aging.
Additionally, the term can be viewed as ageist, as it assumes that all older adults are the same and that age is the defining characteristic of their identity. While some individuals still use “elderly” to describe older adults, many now view it as an outdated term that should be avoided.
In conclusion, the language we use to describe older adults is constantly evolving. While “senior citizen” was once the go-to term for those in their later years, many new terms have emerged that seek to more accurately reflect the diversity and complexity of older adults today.
From “older adult” to “golden ager,” these terms emphasize the positive aspects of aging and celebrate the achievements and contributions of older adults. As society continues to age, it is important that we choose our language carefully, recognizing the value and importance of older adults in our communities.