How To Refer To People Over The Age Of 65

When It Comes To Older Adults, Language Matters: Journal Of The American Geriatrics Society Adopts Modified American Medical Association Style, Jounal of the American Geriactrics Society, June 2017

The AMA style guide provides its own guidance on terms NOT to use when describing older people, reinforcing that words like (the) aged, elder(s), (the) elderly, and seniors should not be used. This is because such terms connote discrimination and certain negative stereotypes that may undercut research‐based recommendations for better serving our needs as we age.

In light of this, we are qualifying the AMA recommendation for referring to a person’s age. Specifically, JAGS will require that authors use the term “older adult” when describing individuals aged 65 and older.

3 thoughts on “How To Refer To People Over The Age Of 65

    1. Bix Post author

      Good point.
      I like “older adult” because it corresponds to young adult. It doesn’t connote frailty. It means I’m going to have to unlearn “seniors”.


  1. Marj

    Well, these days I just go with “old,” having tried “older” for a time. Everything would be fine if I didn’t hear myself addressed as “young lady” every now and then! Give me a break!



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