This period of the life span has increased in the last 100 years
This period of the life span has increased in the last 100 years, particularly in industrialized countries. Late adulthood is sometimes subdivided into two categories such as the “young old” (people between 65 and 79) and “old old” (those who are 80 and older). One of the primary differences between these groups is that the “young old” are very similar to midlife adults; still working, still relatively healthy, and still interested in being productive and active. The “old old” remain productive and active and the majority continues to live independently, but risks of the diseases of old age such as arteriosclerosis, cancer, and cerebral vascular disease increases substantially for this age group. Issues of housing, healthcare, and extending active life expectancy are only a few of the topics of concern for this age group. A better way to appreciate the diversity of people in late adulthood is to go beyond chronological age and examine whether a person is experiencing optimal aging (very good health for their age and continues to have an active, stimulating life), normal aging (in which the changes are similar to most of those of the same age), or impaired aging (referring to someone who has more physical challenge and disease than others of the same age).