In April, the AARP (American Association of Retired People) published a video challenging people’s perceptions of old age : how old is old? What can or can’t an older person do? Millennials and Baby boomers have different answers to these questions.
“So maybe… 40 is old?”
Several Millennials from age 19 to age 33 were asked a very simple question : what age do you consider to be old? Their answers might be perceived as a little bit more surprising ; one participant said : “I feel like 30 is the new 20, so maybe… 40 is old?” All other participants named ages ranging from 40 to 50.
They were then asked to demonstrate their perceptions of old age : first by imitating an older person crossing the street, with many shuffling their feet, hunching forward, brandishing imaginary canes.. Then by texting like a senior, to which many responded by putting on imaginary glasses, frowning with confusion… Then to more physical activities, with push-ups and and jumping jacks, with much trembling limbs and out-of-breathness.
“An age that I might consider to be old now might be… A hundred”
The young participants then met several people aged 55 to 75, immeasurably old by the Millennials’ standards. Each Millennial/ Boomer pair was given two minutes to teach each other something they were good at : gym, dancing, boxing… At the end of those two minutes, the Millennials were asked the same question: what age do you consider to be old?
“Probably 80 or 90. He [her 66-year-old partner] can just do everything that I told him to do“; said one participant. “An age that I might consider to be old now might be… A hundred“, said another, laughing and adding that “There’s no way she [her 70-year-old partner] is old.”
“There’s so many things that I still wanna do, there’s so many things I can do, as long as I’m growing and learning, then age doesn’t matter”, Parvati, 70, reflected.
“When people start stopping, that’s when they start getting old”, concluded 75-year-old Georges.
Watch the AARP’s video, “Millennials show us what ‘old’ looks like”: