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Correct and Preferred Usage

Roxanne K. Young

Discrimination based on age (young or old) is ageism. Because the term elderly connotes a stereotype, avoid using it as a noun. When referring to the entire population of elderly persons, use of the elderly may be appropriate (as in the impact of prescription drug costs on the elderly, for example). Otherwise, terms such as older persons, older people, elderly patients, geriatric patients, older adults, older patients, aging adults, persons 65 years and older, or the older population are preferred. Note: In studies that involve human beings, age should always be given specifically. Researchers in geriatrics may use defined terms

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