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Let’s Stop Using “Elderly” in Media

Marci Shatzman

Marci Shatzaman

A couple older than us were having lunch at Olympic Flame diner this week. My husband noticed their age. I noticed she was wearing the latest fashion statement…a pantsuit with a matching blazer.

Remember the days when your grandmother dressed like a grandmother in her 60s? Those days are long gone. Today people are not only stylish, but out and about, even if they’re on a walker or have a caregiver with them.

Town Center at Boca’s newest restaurant Maggie McFly’s even designed niches especially for walkers and strollers. And with lifespans expanding, most media stopped during stories on people turning 100. That’s more common now, too.

What does that tell us? It’s high time for media to stop using “elderly” to describe older people in headlines, posts and stories. It’s insulting.  

I’m a career journalist who just turned 77. I started complaining about my age two years ago and everyone told me to shut up. They still do. That means age is no longer relevant here, and I’m sure Boca’s not the only place that’s true.

There’s no one-stop shopping for media. They all get to do their own thing. So, there’s no use starting a movement or gathering support for dropping the term elderly to describe older people. All media has to do is continue using their age, which speaks for itself and has always been a given in journalism.

I hope this catches on and more readers and users complain. I know I will.

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