Perceptions of the age at which people consider they will be old have shifted upwards, according to new research. But despite the enormous increase in active silvers – running, hiking, adventuring – the uptick appears to be gradual. A study by academics at Berlin’s Humboldt University looked at responses to the question: “At what age would you describe someone as old?”, which is part of a continuing German ageing survey following people born between 1911 and 1974. Among those born in 1931, for example, it was 74, but that crept up by a year for people born in 1944. However, when they passed 64 people in the latter group upped their notion of old age more markedly than the earlier cohort. Commenting on the research in the Guardian, Caroline Abrahams, the charity director at Age UK, said it was well known that people tended to judge “old” as meaning at least a few years beyond their chronological age, even in their 70s and 80s, and that probably reflects the bad image of “old” in western cultures.

Categories: