What do we call someone over 50? Just because you’re over 50 doesn’t mean you’re old and over the hill!
With the average life-span of an Australian man at 79 and woman at 83, it is quite likely when you turn 50 you still have another 40 years of living left to do! You’re being encouraged to retire at 65 or now 67 and then what? Many baby-boomers who are now in their 50s and 60s are refusing to get old. They don’t want to be called seniors, they don’t want to stop working and go and sit on a park bench. They don’t want to grow old gracefully. This new 50+ wants to continue to experience life in many forms, have fun and grow old DIS-gracefully!
Are they seniors – hell no! What about Mature adults – no way. They want to have fun and fool around like anyone any age. And thus came about the new word for this 50-70 age group – MIDDLESCENCE, adolescence, the second time round! Middlescence – the turbulent, rebellious middle age of the baby-boomer generation.
When I turned 50, I was on a plane flying back from LA and the woman next to me said “You’ve now gone from the old age of our youth to the youth of your old age”. How appropriate… and we are also sometimes called the Sandwich Generation, stuck between looking after elderly parents and often with adult children still living at home. Downager is another term used to describe older people acting younger than his or her age and refusing to live by traditional age limitations.
Silver Fox sounds a bit more exciting, but probably applies to those a bit older in the 70+ group, the under 70s are still refusing to look old by dying their hair – even men! So what is an exciting ‘sexy’ name that refers to ‘mid-lifers’? A ‘Global Campaign to Stop Calling People over Fifty Old’ ran a poll on Facebook to find out what people thought. The overwhelming majority selected Middlescence, followed by another 20% who like ‘Active Ager’ –One who is aging but remains active physically and mentally. Coming in at number three, is ‘Juvescent’ – young at heart, engaging with life, vibrant, fun and ageless. Another popular term is ‘Elder’ one who is wise, NB not elderly! Other suggestions include ‘Firecracker’ – someone over 50 who is still sparking, firing and full of wit and then there’s an interesting one – ‘Gen R-Ator – Gen X, Gen Y, then Gen R- Ators – over 50s powering the world! Then there’s ‘Kidult’- people who never grow up, ‘Adultescent’, ‘Phoenix’ – rising from the ashes of experience, and ‘Morphs’ – the transitional phase between being youthful and elderly. Maybe you have some other suggestions; other terms are grey nomads, age denier, blue nomads, sea changers etc…
If you don’t want to be called old, senior or middle-aged, leave your comments on https://www.facebook.com/Over-50-So-What-112294950174123
Carol O’Halloran is a baby-boomer 49 something, and TV show producer and presenter of ‘Over 50 So What!’ She is also a speaker and author of Alive & Kicking and Five Minute Fitness.
©Fitness Company International 2020