What age is middle age

When do you get old?

50- or 60-year-olds still feel like 30 and complain about the increasing mass of old people

Not only on birthdays at an advanced age, but also at the beginning of a new year, you not only look joyfully forward, but also come to the realization that you can no longer deny that you are now and perhaps even finally on the downward path of aging. At some point there will be a turning point, which one could call middle age, at which youth ceases and a zenith is exceeded that leads to old age and ultimately to death, from which finiteness becomes clear, which also means that from this point onwards the Time is running out.

While it used to be the opinion that entry into middle age begins at the age of 30-40 - "Don't trust anyone over 30!" - and if you are 60-65 years old - retirement, empty nest - old, that has shifted in the last few decades. This is probably mainly due to the steadily increasing life expectancy, which, at least for many, is associated with better health and a longer independent life.

In fact, many people at 60 or 70 look comparatively young and are accordingly physically fit. In addition, every means is tried to negate or conceal the traces of aging and to trim the body. In lifestyle, too, the once rigid boundaries between younger and older people are blurring, which, in terms of self-image, leads to not aging psychologically, but instead feeling like 30 as a 50 or 60-year-old and at the same time complaining about the increasing mass of old people .

Correspondingly, the statement of entering middle age shifts. This is nicely illustrated by a survey by the health company Benenden, for which 2000 British people were asked. The mean age no longer affects the 30 or 40-year-olds, but now, on average, you only come to this apparently threatening age at 53 years of age. And almost half of those over the age of 50 claim that middle age has not yet begun for them.

Interestingly, 53 percent of all respondents say that there is actually no middle age. That probably means that you suddenly and seamlessly plunge into old age from your youth, that aging is only recognized when it can no longer be avoided, i.e. when you are sick and limited in your life. 80 percent believe that this is less a question of physical age than of psychological well-being anyway. So 80-year-olds can still be young? If 84 percent are convinced that you don't get old until you feel that way, then you seem to have fallen in love with magic.

After all, how do you recognize that you have been left behind and grown older? When you can no longer keep up with the technology or no longer feel like following all new developments. Or, according to the responses to the survey, if you no longer know what the boys are talking about. You also feel stiff, need a nap, moan when you bend over, don't know the newer bands anymore, like to talk about illnesses or no longer like to go to noisy bars. Suddenly you find policemen, teachers or doctors quite young, moaning around more, often looking for your glasses, a key or a book, tending your garden excessively, preferring to go for a walk on Sundays than staying in bed, or are already asleep a glass of wine.

According to a sociological study, people in the United States appear to be different from the British. In 1995-1996 and 2004-2006, representative surveys were used to determine which factors influence the view of when middle age begins. On average, Americans said the median age began at 44 and ended at 60. It is interesting that there is of course a wide range of responses that are not only related to age but also to other factors.

For example, middle age begins earlier for non-whites or for people with low incomes than for whites or the richer. Realism is reflected here, after all, the life expectancy of poor people, including in Germany for example, is a few years lower than that of rich people. People who are ill, who got married early, who are divorced or whose parents are no longer alive see old age coming earlier. For men and women, women seem to age faster than men because they enter middle age early. Not surprisingly, middle age begins earlier for young adults than for older people. The older people get, the later old age begins for them. (Florian Rötzer)

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