Proposal to Raise Threshold of 'Elderly' to 75
Jan. 6, 2017
The Japan Gerontological Society has proposed that a person should be defined as elderly from age 75 instead of 65. Currently a person aged 65 or older is defined as elderly.
A working group including medical doctors and university professors said that older people are enjoying longer, healthier lives than ever before, thanks to advanced healthcare and other factors.
After reviewing the current definition of an elderly person as someone aged 65 or over, and taking into account the improved physical strength of people in this age group, they proposed raising the threshold to 75.
The Japan Gerontological Society and the Japan Geriatrics Society suggested calling people aged 90 and above “super-elderly,” while proposing that “semi-elderly” be applied to people aged between 65 and 74.
The proposal says people younger than 75 should be encouraged to continue to work as long as they are in good health, or to utilize their experience by participating in volunteer activities.
The Society says its proposal must not be linked directly to changing the age of eligibility for pensions or to social security systems.
Yasuyoshi Ouchi, the working group's chair, says people's ageing has become slower over the past 20 years or so. He says those who are currently called elderly are physically 5 or 10 years younger than they would have been at the same age in previous times.
Ouchi says that at a time when the younger workforce is decreasing, it will be necessary for older people to change their awareness and play a role in supporting society.
Source: 5 January 2017, NHK World
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