Researchers discuss new ‘old’

UMSL researchers Tom Meuser (left) and Mark Tranel discussed the new "old" in a recent St. Louis Beacon article.

The adage “You’re only as old as you feel” rings true today more than ever.

Whether the reason is better health options, working later in life due to economical challenges or just the need to stay active, older adults are not created equal.

University of Missouri–St. Louis researchers recently talked with the St. Louis Beacon for the article “Young olds? Turns out not all seniors are created equal.”

Those 65 years of age and older are typically considered senior citizens, Tom Meuser, director of the gerontology graduate program at UMSL, told the Beacon. But that is changing.

“At the very least, we have to think of people in terms of ‘young olds,’ ‘old olds’ and ‘oldest olds,’” he said.

Mark Tranel, director of the Public Policy Research Center at UMSL, agreed with Meuser.

Those categories break into decade slices, Tranel told the Beacon. “Young olds” are 65-75, “old olds” are 75-85, and “oldest olds” are 85-95. These categories reflect not just numbers, but also the different stages of aging, he said.


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