Friday, April 8, 2011

Oldest Old?

In this day and age of political correctness, how can this happen?

Yesterday I was researching age pyramids in the U.S. on the Census web site (yes, I am a nerd) and I read a statistic: “One of Every Three Nursing Home Residents is an Oldest Old Woman.”


I read it again and wondered if it was a typo. Then I turned the page and read "Baby Boom Generation to Accelerate Elderly and Oldest Old Growth".

I stopped in my tracks. I've been studying demographics for decades and have never heard of this term. I Googled it and learned that 'Oldest Old' is a label for people aged 85 or older.

Is it just me or is this term derogatory?   I think it's way worse than Old Fart and Geezer!  And it's almost as offensive as this advertisement.

In today’s world where deaf people are called ‘hearing impaired’, trash collectors are called ‘sanitation engineers', and fat people are called ‘horizontally challenged’, how does the Census department get away with calling our most senior of seniors ‘Oldest Old’?

And what does that make me? Am I the 'Oldest Middle' or the 'Youngest Old'?  Maybe I'm the 'Oldest Young'.  (Okay, maybe not.)

I think the Oldest Old segment should be re-positioned, the way used cars became 'pre-owned vehicles' and prisoners became 'clients of the penal system'.

I've got some ideas!  How about 'Chronologically Gifted'?  Or 'Youth Deficient'?  'Post-Graduate Senior'?

Anything but Oldest Old. 

We should sic Betty White on the Census department.  Or this woman.

And I'll be supporting them all the way. 

After all, I am the nerdiest nerd.

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