In general, are all old people pretty much alike?
No. Older adults are at least as diverse as any other age group in the population, and on many dimensions they may actually be more diverse. People vary greatly in their health, social role, and coping experiences. As the older population becomes more and more ethnically diverse, differences could be even greater. It is very misleading to talk about older adults as "the elderly," for this term may obscure the great heterogeneity of this age group.
Linda Breytspraak, Center on Aging Studies, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Last update: Monday, July 07, 2008