You’ve got a lot of nerve calling me ‘elderly’!


Dian Sparling, the 71-year-old midwife, told NPR that she was “taken aback” by the top headline, so it was changed.

NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos writes:

[Reporter Ina] Jaffe added this honest question: What do you call people today past 60 or 70, or even 80 or 90?

What I find in reaching out to experts is, well, a lot of disagreement over what term to use. But “elderly” was decidedly taboo.

UPDATE — Erik Wemple asks: “What if you alight on a ‘home for the elderly,’ then proceed to interview a resident of that home? Are you, via the associative property, calling the interviewee ‘elderly’? Would that draw fire from your ombudsman?”

* Let me live long, but don’t you dare call me old (
* Read what they’re saying about this on my Facebook wall (