Before proceeding to analyze the meaning of the term elder, let us know its etymological origin. In this case, we can establish that it derives from Latin, specifically, from the word “antianus”, which can be translated as “it is from before”.
According to DigoPaul, an elder is an elderly individual. It is someone who belongs to the so-called third age and who is close to death, according to the life expectancy that human beings can have.
There is no exact moment when a subject becomes an elder. By convention, it usually establishes the beginning of old age at 65 years of age. Thus, those who are 65 years of age or older are elderly. However, there are people in their 80s who are in full activity, while subjects in their 50s already feel the passage of time in their bodies.
At a general level, it can be said that an old man experiences a detriment to his organism. All the functions and capacities that he displayed during youth and that reached their maximum level of development in adulthood, begin to deteriorate. Thus, it is common for an elderly person to have difficulties to move and memory problems, for example.
The increase in life expectancy and the improvement in the quality of life have caused the number of elderly people to grow worldwide in recent decades. Although it is the final instance of life, the stage is no longer associated with passivity: on the contrary, it is intended that the elderly maintain an active life within their possibilities and that they are integrated into the community.
Precisely due to the increase in the number of elderly people, there has been a notable increase in the group of nursing homes that exist and even in people who are dedicated to caring for these elderly people. Taking into account that there are elderly people with very different needs, these professionals must adapt to them. Thus, they can dedicate themselves to preparing food for them, helping them in their daily hygiene and care, assisting them in everything they need because they do not have mobility, monitoring their illnesses and ailments …
According to the culture, the elderly are usually valued for the wisdom they acquired from the experience. In other cases, on the other hand, the elderly are belittled and the youth stands out.
We cannot ignore the existence that in many cultures being old means being associated with values such as intelligence and wisdom. A good example of this can be discovered, for example, in the television series “Charmed”. In this there is a group, “The Elders”, which is in charge of monitoring the witches and indicating to their “white guides” when they should act to direct them on the right path.
In addition to all the above, we cannot forget the existence of a story entitled “The terrible old man”. It is a short horror narration written by the famous author HP Lovecraft in the year 1920. It takes as its protagonist an old man who lives isolated in a very old house about which there are numerous legends.