What does ‘elderly’ mean to you?


Sir, – Kathy Sheridan, in her attack on the use of the word “elderly”, Googled it and found that the first three Google references were “elderly care”, “elderly abuse” and “elderly mobility scale” (“‘Elderly’ is just a word, but it is sometimes the wrong one”, Opinion & Analysis, June 28th). She inferred from these results that elderly is an undesirable word.

I Googled “young people” and I found equally negative references – depression, emigration, quality of life problems and the stereotyping of young people. I hope nobody would draw the inference from this that the term “young people” should be banned. Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

Sir, – The opinion piece on the use of the world elderly quotes the following: “An elderly man from Hull has confounded doctors by recovering after he was officially declared dead.”

The recovery of a man of any age after being officially declared dead is a cause for some confusion and celebration, since death is defined as a irreversible cessation of life.

Indeed we still celebrate the return from the dead of a not-so-elderly 33-year-old some 2,000 years ago. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.