After the mortality alarm (which psychologists call mortality salience, awareness of the inevitability of one’s death) I wondered: at what point is a person considered old? In the 1960s, the famous Beatles song “When I’m 64” described what old age was considered back then. Written now, it should be “When I’m 84”.
In Australia an “adult” is someone aged between 18 and 64. After 65, people are considered “older adults”. For Indigenous Australians, older adults are 50-plus. Despite my personal ageing crisis, I don’t feel I belong in the same category as an octogenarian. But in 2023, how do we redefine and recategorise “late life”? I’d like to propose a new category for pre-old adults, for those beginning their ageing journey: what about “juvenile geriatric”?