The book was an older British mystery, my favourite genre for a lazy day. All was good until several pages in when a new character was introduced. The writer described an elderly woman, stooped and bent, thinning grey hair wrapped in a bun and age spots speckling her skin. The picture was painted so artistically I could see this aged lady as if she was standing before me. A sweet little octogenarian with orthopaedic shoes and polyester pants.
Then came the kicker. This 'elderly' woman was apparently 64, relatively close to my own age. Even given a certain self-denial it seemed a bit insulting. A quick glance at my hands revealed no age spots, I stand as tall as my 5'2" allows and at this point a few highlights hide the bit of grey in my free-swinging hair.
I remembered, however, that the book at been written decades before when 60 could well have been considered elderly. My grandparents, worn and weary from a life of hard work and little time for fun, would have fit the description by the time they had reached the age of 64.
Things had begun to shift, however, even 30 years ago when my parents were officially senior citizens. They enjoyed early retirement, my father took up golf, they continued to dance and party well into their 80s.
So who is today's senior? As proven time and time again they are vital people with wisdom and experience who continue to bring those assets to the workplace. They are pro-active about their health. And still, according to surveys in Zoomer magazine, enjoying a fulfilling sex life.
Stooped and bent, sporting buns and age spots? Not so much. These photos offer a different perspective: