Especially in less formal contexts, it is often abbreviated as "senior(s)", which is also used as an adjective.In commerce, some businesses offer customers of a certain age a "senior discount".Old people often have limited regenerative abilities and are more susceptible to disease, syndromes, and sickness than younger adults.
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Some dictionaries describe widespread use of "senior citizen" for people over the age of 65.
When defined in an official context, senior citizen is often used for legal or policy-related reasons in determining who is eligible for certain benefits available to the age group.
It is used in general usage instead of traditional terms such as old person, old-age pensioner, or elderly as a courtesy and to signify continuing relevance of and respect for this population group as "citizens" of society, of senior rank.
It has come into widespread use in recent decades in legislation, commerce, and common speech.
This in turn usually implies that the person is over the retirement age, which varies according to country.
Synonyms include old age pensioner or pensioner in British English, and retiree and senior in American English.
However, for its study of old age in Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) set 55 as the beginning of old age.