gero-, geri-, ger-, geronto-, geront- +

(Greek: old age, old man, old people; elder, elderly; senior citizen)

Don't confuse this gero-, ger- with another Latin ger- which means "to carry, to produce; to bear".

Man is an illogical creature who wants a long life but never to be old.
—Anonymous
agerasia
1. Old age accompanied by good health and vigor.
2. The youthful appearance seen in old people.
eugeria
Normal, healthy, and happy old age.
geranosis
Disease characteristic of old age.
geransis
The process of growing old.

Introduction to Old Age Is Not for Sissies

Straighten up, shoulders back, sharpen your senses of humor, keep control of your lives, and remember that Thomas Jefferson recommended: "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing."

Old age definitely is not for sissies. [Note: The term "sissies" is a derogatory word for a cowardly person. Etymologically, it comes from "sister", and its extended form is "sis". The meaning of "effeminate man" is recorded from 1887.]

Old age is for people who can laugh as hard as the seventy-eight-year-old lady who told me what made her realize she wasn't twenty-one anymore. She described standing near a curb waiting for a friend to pick her up so they could drive to a restaurant for lunch.

A man observing her waiting assumed something was wrong. He came up to her and asked if there was anything he could do to help.

She told him there wasn't and said, "I'm just waiting to get picked up." She said he looked at her like he couldn't believe what she'd told him before replying, "Well, lady, as old as you look, you could be in for quite a wait."

Art Linkletter's favorite story of memory loss

Martha and her husband, Fred, were sitting in their small living room watching TV one evening. Out of the blue, Fred said to Martha, "Say, I'll bet you'd like some ice cream, wouldn't you?"

"Oh yes, that would taste good; I'd just love some, but we don't have any in the house," she said.

"That's okay," her husband of fifty-two years replied. "I'll walk over to the store and buy some. While I'm there, I'll also get some chocolate and whipping cream so we can make sundaes."

"That would be just wonderful," Martha said. As he was getting ready to leave she said, "You know your memory isn't what it used to be, dear. With three things to remember, don't you think you should make a list?"

"No, I don't. The store is only two blocks away. I won't forget," he said.

About forty-five minutes later he returned carrying a brown grocery bag. Martha walked into the kitchen and watched as he took out three pounds of bacon.

"Oh, Fred," she said, "I told you to make a list . . . you forgot the eggs."

It comes down to one word: attitude

According to Art Linkletter, "attitude" may very well be the most important word in the English language. It explans what makes us think and act like we're forty on our seventy-fifth birthday or what makes others act and behave as though they're seventy-five on their fortieth birthday.

While Art was talking to Bob Hope about Senior America, Bob reminded him that it was President Eisenhower who originally said, "There are three stages of life: youth, maturity, and 'God, you look good!' "

On another occasion, Bob said, "If I could speak at one time to all Senior Americans, I'd tell them to forget their age and do exactly what they feel like doing. It all comes down to attitude. Excitement is what really keeps you going."

The heart of Old Age Is Not for Sissies, is information: what rights and opportunities are available to "senior citizens" and how they can be secured.

—Excerpts from Old Age Is Not for Sissies by Art Linkletter,
Viking Penguin, Inc., New York, 1988.
gerascophobia, gerasophobia
An abnormal fear of, or aversion to, growing old.
gerathymia
Mental depression of the elderly.
geratology
In biology, the study of the decline and senescence of populations.
geriatrician, geriatrist
1. A doctor who specializes in medical care of senior citizens.
2. A physician who specializes in the diseases of old age.
3. An expert in geriatrics.
geriatrics, geriatric, geriatry
1. The branch of medicine that deals with the illnesses and medical care of senior citizens.
2. The branch of medicine concerned with the medical problems and care of the aged. Included are all aspects of aging, including physiological, pathological, psychological, economic, and sociological problems. The importance of geriatrics is emphasized by the fact that the expected lifespan is increasing.
gerocomia
Medical care of the elderly.
geroderma, gerodermia
1. Atrophy of the skin, as seen in old age.
2. Dystrophy of the skin and genitals, producing the appearance of old age.
gerodontics, gerodontia
1. The practice of dentistry among old people.
2. A reference to changes in the dental tissues that come with age.
3. The branch of dentistry focusing on the needs of senior citizens.
4. Also called dental geriatrics and geriodontics.
gerodontist, geriodontist
A dentist specializing in gerodontics.
gerodontology
The study of dentistry in relation to the aging, aged, or elderly.
geromarasmus
The wasting of the body, as that which is sometimes associated with old age.

Related "old; old age, elder" units: obsolesc-; presbyo-; sen-; veter-.