Elderly people who cannot shop or drive considered 'old'
Once an 'elderly' person cannot shop for themselves, complete housework, or drive their cars, they are considered to be in 'old age,' a study from Oregon State University has revealed.
That study, which looked at people in their 80s and 90s, found that even their adult children treated them differently because of their advanced age, the Daily Mail reported.
Activities that define one's independence are the most important markers of age, according to the study by Oregon State University researcher Michelle Barnhart.
For the research, Barnhart conducted in-depth interviews with consumers in their late 80s, as well as their caregivers and family members and #65533; often the subject's adult children in their 50s and 60s.
She found that the Baby Boomers, who are aging themselves, did not wish to be seen as old, but often treated their own parents as 'old people' and #65533; not allowing them to exercise independence where they could and assuming they're scatterbrained as well as slow.
This may result in conflicts between the parents, who don't see themselves as old, and their adult children, who do, she said.
Barnhart noted that those in their 80s and 90s are often dealing with negative connotations of old age.
"Almost every stereotype we associate with being elderly is something negative,' she said, 'from being 'crotchety' and unwilling to change to being forgetful."
Barnhart said that part of the problem with 'old age' is that society tends to marginalize those who are advanced in years, rather than valuing them for their wisdom.
Detail of her study will be published in the April 2013 edition of the Journal of Consumer Research.