Defining Older Age


Before we look at Sexual violence, lets ask what do we mean by elderly? Who counts as being an older person, who is included in this category? Old age is a social & cultural construct. No stable underlying experience of older age.


‘Old’ age is culturally and socially constructed.

As well as material and physiological realities of ageing
• Conceptions of old age shift over time and social context, e.g. Baby boomers doing ageing differently.

‘Old’ age varies in the literature

• Typically 60+ but varies across societies
• Sometimes based on physiological markers, i.e. menopause
• Distinctions between early, mid and deep old age


Discussion points

Generally speaking, Old age 60+ and beyond But it does vary. Physiological markers like Menopause. Distinctions with Early/mid/deep old age. Must acknowledge there are different experiences depending  on stage in. When talk about older people, there is quite a diverse cohort of older women in old age. People from 3 or 4 different generational cohorts with different lived experiences. So when talking about older people we must remember complexities of similarities and distinctions in this group of older people.

Age is something that shifts and differs over time and space and across different social & cultural contexts.  Definite physiological and material experiences and realities that contribute to ageing. Changes to bodies and how it functions, disease et. These also influence how older people feel about being older. however Baby boomers – not ready to do things the way their parents did.

Who counts as being an older person, who is included in this category? Old age is a social & cultural construct. No stable underlying experience of older age.  OK there are definite physiological and material experiences and realities that contribute to ageing. Changes to bodies and how it functions, disease et. These also influence how older people feel about being older. However Baby boomers – not ready to do things the way their parents did.