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Especially in less formal contexts, it is often abbreviated as "senior(s)", which is also used as an adjective.In commerce, some businesses offer customers of a certain age a "senior discount".The marks of old age are so unlike the marks of middle age that legal scholar Richard Posner suggests that, as an individual transitions into old age, he/she can be thought of as different persons "time-sharing" the same identity. Gillick, a baby boomer, accuses her contemporaries of believing that by proper exercise and diet they can avoid the scourges of old age and proceed from middle age to death.Other writers treat the perceptions of middle-age people regarding their own old age. Studies find that many people in the 55–75 range can postpone morbidity by practicing healthy lifestyles. Minois comments that the scribe's "cry shows that nothing has changed in the drama of decrepitude between the age of the Pharaoh and the atomic age" and "expresses all the anguish of old people in the past and the present." Lillian Rubin, active in her 80s as an author, sociologist, and psychotherapist, opens her book 60 on Up: The Truth about Aging in America with "getting old sucks. Rubin contrasts the "real old age" with the "rosy pictures" painted by middle-age writers. Morrison delineates the heroism required by old age: to live through the disintegration of one's own body or that of someone you love. been with us since the stage of primitive society; it was both the source of wisdom and of infirmity, experience and decrepitude, of prestige and suffering." "Beauty and strength" were esteemed and old age was viewed as defiling and ugly.
The United Nations has agreed that 60 years may be usually denoted as old age and this is the first attempt at an international definition of old age.These discourses take part in a general idea of successful ageing. Morrison concludes, "old age is not for the fainthearted." Based on his survey of old age in history, Georges Minois concludes that "it is clear that always and everywhere youth has been preferred to old age." In western thought, "old age is an evil, an infirmity and a dreary time of preparation for death." Furthermore, death is often preferred over "decrepitude, because death means deliverance." "The problem of the ambiguity of old age has . Old age was reckoned as one of the unanswerable "great mysteries" along with evil, pain, and suffering.However, at about age 80, all people experience similar morbidity. The eyes are weak, the ears are deaf, the strength is disappearing because of weariness of the heart and the mouth is silent and cannot speak. "Decrepitude, which shrivels heroes, seemed worse than death." In ancient times, although some strong and healthy people lived until they were over 70 most died before they were 50.It is used in general usage instead of traditional terms such as old person, old-age pensioner, or elderly as a courtesy and to signify continuing relevance of and respect for this population group as "citizens" of society, of senior rank.It has come into widespread use in recent decades in legislation, commerce, and common speech.