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Caregivers and the Elderly
ONC Editorial

Sep 25, 2023

Explaining the aging system in the U.S.

A caregiver is a person who tends to the needs or concerns of a person with short-or long-term limitations due to illness, injury or disability. 

More specifically, a family caregiver is characterized as one who assists their friends or family. Such a person can provide details that are important about the patient, and therefore, are vital for the patient’s healthcare. The family caregiver can be just as vital to the healthcare process as the patient and provider.

Additionally, per Aaron Sinykin of the Devoted Guardians in 2021, the age range at which individuals are thought of as “early elderly” is 65-74 years old. “Late elderly” is the term for individuals above the age of 75.

Now, 65 is the age at which individuals can receive at-home healthcare and Elderly Tax Credit or Medicare, and also become known as elderly under the idea of “social aging,” an approach which classifies people based on how habits change during different stages of life.  

According to the World Health Organization, 60 is the beginning of old age in nations that are more advanced. Sinykin states that this falls into the range of 60-65, which is also the range where a lot of Americans stop working. 

The three components of aging are biological, psychological and social. The typical course of aging involves the following five stages: independence from 60-70, interdependence from 70-80, dependency from one’s high 70s and above and crisis management and end of life both being from one’s late 70s to significantly older.

Jagraj Atwal is a rising junior at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he intends to concentrate in healthcare management and policy. During a brief period in the summer of 2022, he participated in the sophomore leadership summit at DaVita Kidney Care.


Sinykin, Aaron. “At What Point Is Someone Considered Elderly?” Devoted Guardians, Home Care in Phoenix by Devoted Guardians, 21 Apr. 2021,

“What Is A Caregiver?” Johns Hopkins Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation,

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