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Q: *ELDERS* vs *SENIORS*- For hummer-ga ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: *ELDERS* vs *SENIORS*- For hummer-ga
Category: Family and Home > Seniors
Asked by: brudenell-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 07 Dec 2003 09:09 PST
Expires: 06 Jan 2004 09:09 PST
Question ID: 284416
For hummer-ga only (Comments welcome)

The North American society usually refers to individuals in the oldest
age segment as *seniors* or *senior citizens*. Gerontologists have
further divided this group into thirds with the oldest being over the
age of 85. This segment of society is als o the one that is
experiencing the most significant percentage increase in numbers.  In
reality it is hardly fair to refer to this age group as *seniors*...
after all most of them are parents of *senior citizens*. Let us refer
to this group as *elders*. Their needs and desires are often very
different from the *senior citizen* whippersnappers aged 65 to 85. I
would like to have this GA query:

Please provide a list of points how *elders* differ from *seniors*. 
The list would be in addition to the following:

- all elders have lived past 'life expectancy'
- x % are in long term care facilities or in residences other than in
their own home
- elders start dropping out of view on the streets of their communities
- elders stop attending houses of worship etc.
- elders stop shopping on their own
- x % of elders drive own car versus x % of 'seniors' 65- 85
- x % of elders use the Internet versus x % of 'seniors' 65 - 85

I would love to know if anyone has similar differentiations about the
under 85 *senior* versus the over 85 posted to the web


Request for Question Clarification by hummer-ga on 07 Dec 2003 09:44 PST
Hi B! Hmmm, this question sounds vaguely familiar 8-)

Thank you for thinking of me - it sounds like an interesting question.
I trust that you are not in a rush and you won't mind waiting a bit
for me take care of prior commitments in my other life before taking
it on - if you have a deadline, please let me know.

Hoping you don't get snowed-in,

Clarification of Question by brudenell-ga on 07 Dec 2003 11:51 PST
Hello hummer

Too late... already snowed in!  The power has been off & on several
times. Just found your reply. The trees are flocked with heavy snow...
quite picturesque. Just below zero and the river hasn't frozen yet.
All of the feeders are alive with birds. There is a lovely fire in the
hearth and the smell of homemade chicken soup coming from the stove. A
lovely day to wrap presents.

I am not in a hurry for a reply... and I am reminded of "In time, even
grass becomes milk."

Thank you for the quick note.

Best regards


Subject: Re: *ELDERS* vs *SENIORS*- For hummer-ga
Answered By: hummer-ga on 08 Dec 2003 07:28 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Brudenell,

According to Health Canada, it's ok to use the terms, 'seniors,'
'older persons' or 'older adults', if you need to indicate the age
Avoid such terms as "'the aged,' 'the elderly,' 'oldsters,'...".

The following list is from the "over 85" point of view and is a
summary taken from some of the links which I've placed below it.  It
is interesting to note that the fastest growing segment of the
population is the over 75 year olds - those over 85 have increased by
40% in the last ten years.


  Eyesight suffers (signage, t.v., monitors, glossy paper, books).
  It is harder to hear (radio, t.v., telephone, conversation).
  Agility decreases (dressing, cooking, opening packages, writing).
  More likely to have diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, arthritis,
heart     disease, digestive disorders, hypertension and cancer.
  More likely to be hospitalized due to a fall.
  More likely to have dental problems.
  All have lived past 'life expectancy'
  Take more medication.
  Mortality rate for Parkinson's disease increases.
  Degenerative diseases continue to take their toll.
  Use more appliances (walkers, wheelchairs, etc)

  Men are more likely to commit suicide.
  Higher rate of dementia.
  Less "diplomatic", more likely to "speak their minds".

 Special food needs arise as seniors grow older.
 More swallowing difficulties.
 Need tastier food in smaller portions.
 Need more nutritional supplements.
 Spend less on food.
 "Eat out" less.

 More live in health care institutions.
 Fewer live alone.
 Fewer live with spouse or partner.
 Fewer live with children.
 Less able to navigate stairs.

 More women than men.
 Women are widows, men are married.
 Need more help with many daily activities.
 More dependence on others for social activities.
 More friends and relatives are deceased.
 Less interest in luxuries.

 More isolated.
 More likely to have a physical disability, the severity increases with age.
 More start dropping out of view on the streets of their communities.
 Fewer hours of sleep.
 Less active.
 Fewer drive cars.

 Lower literacy skills.
 More likely to be unilingual in a minority language.

 Lower income.
 Less able to take care of own financial affairs.


- "There were 287,480 seniors aged 65 and over who lived in health
care institutions in 2001; they represent 9.2% of senior women and
4.9% of senior men."
- "Living in health care institutions is most common for the oldest
seniors, those aged 85 and over. However, for this group of seniors,
the proportion of men in these facilities dropped from 29% in 1981 to
23% in 2001, and the decline for women was from 41% in 1981 to 35% in

- Living arrangements of seniors aged 65 and over by sex and age group, 2001

- Older seniors are more often hospitalized due to falls.
- Senior men over 85 years have the highest suicide rate of all age
and sex groups and the rate has increased.

- Researchers estimate that 8% of people over 65 have diabetes
mellitus, while that number increases to 25% for those over 85
(Williams, p. 437).

- Alzheimer Disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia in Canada,
affecting 3-11% of the general population over 60 years of age, and
more than 35% of those over 80 years of age.
- From age 70, the average mortality rate for Parkinson's disease
increased: the greatest increase occurred in the 85+ age group:

- 57% of Canadians over 65 and 70% of Canadians over 85 are women. 
- Sensory change  	
 - Visual acuity   
 - Hearing acuity
 - Agility and mobility 	
- Social/emotional changes
- Physical changes
- Low literacy skills
- May be literate in their mother tongue [but not the language used locally]

- lower income
- The gender gap widens as age advances.
- Elderly women will almost certainly be widowed, while most men will
remain married until they die.
- Two thirds of widowed elderly people live alone.
- More than 90% of seniors are living in the community rather than in institutions.
- About 60% of seniors have less than high school education.
- About 80% to 85% of seniors have dental problems or medical conditions.
- Both incidence and severity of disability increase with age.
- Special food needs arise as seniors grow older, especially for those
with medical conditions and compromised mobility.
- Taste is an important consideration in food for the elderly adult.

- Over half of seniors aged 74-84 have difficulty with one or more of
the activities of daily living, as do three-quarters of the over 85
age group.

- 6 percent to 8 percent of people over age 65 have dementia and 1/3
of those over 85 have some dementia symptoms.

Dependent seniors.

Additional Links of Interest:

Interesting quiz:
Stereotypes about aging seriously harm seniors:

Nova Scotia has oldest population, fewest over 85 in nursing homes 

"x % of elders use the Internet versus x % of 'seniors' 65 - 85"
Internet Use by Age (65+ is as high as they go):

"x % of elders drive own car versus x % of 'seniors' 65- 85"
Percent of Persons Who Have Driven a Car in the Last Month, by Age, KY, 2000:

"A majority of the sample reports recent driving experiences. However,
this declines to nearly two thirds of the sample of persons aged 75
and older."

"On the basis of estimated annual travel, the fatality rate for
drivers 85 and over is nine times as high as the rate for drivers 25
through 69 years old."

Table 1: Living arrangements for females aged 85 and over, Canada and
provinces, 2001
Table 2: Living arrangements for males aged 85 and over, Canada and provinces, 2001
Chart 3: Proportion of seniors aged 85 and over in health care
institutions highest in Quebec and Alberta in 2001

Canadian Institute of Health Statistics:


"Growing Old in Canada" by Eric Moore and Mark Rosenberg.

"A Portrait of Seniors in Canada" 3rd ed. by  Colin Lindsay.

Selected Highlights from "A Portrait of Seniors in Canada" 2nd ed.

Healthy Aging:

I hope this is what you were looking for - if not, or if you have any
questions, please let me know.

Thank you - good to hear from you again, B,

Google Search Terms Used:

"over 85" seniors activities
"over 85" seniors
lifestyle "over 85" seniors
lifestyle "over 85"

Mostly searched my way through StatsCan and Health Canada, using
various terms, such as, "housing elderly", "nutrition elderly",
"senior housing", "85+" etc.
brudenell-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Thorough answer plus many informative links. Lots of applicable material.

						 THANK YOU


Subject: Re: *ELDERS* vs *SENIORS*- For hummer-ga
From: hummer-ga on 11 Dec 2003 18:59 PST
Your welcome, Brudenell, I'm glad to hear the links are of interest.
Thank you for the nice rating and tip, you are very kind.

I wonder what our little birds are doing right now - probably arguing
over something!

Happy holidays,

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