Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Kalyani K. Mehta
Old age has been depicted in a variety of ways, ranging from physical dependency to a time of spiritual discovery to a time for enjoying the fruits of one's hard work. Some have also described it as a prelude to death. In objective terms, it is during the later part of one's life journey when the effects of one's past decisions and choices emerge to determine one's financial, health, and social conditions. Old age is the advanced part of the life course, generally defined as close to the official retirement age or age of withdrawal of pensions. In some countries, it is benchmarked at 55; in others, it is 60, 62, or 65 years. There are other countries that do not have an official retirement age. There is no single, universal definition of old age, as it varies by society, culture, and even era. The persons who are in the ...