You can’t actually die of old age — so here’s what happens

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(WYTV) – How old is old age and do you die of old age?

We might have a grandparent slip away and everyone will say, “Oh, old age.” But old age isn’t actually a cause of death in the way that diabetes or a car accident can be. You don’t die of old age, you die at an old age.

First, who’s considered “old”? This definition comes to us from the Department of Geriatrics at Florida State University College of Medicine. Anyone 65 or older is considered an “older adult.”

We subdivide the group this way — people 65 to 74 are considered the “young-old,” those 75 to 84 are the “middle-old,” and anyone 85 or up is “old-old.”

Now let’s consider what doctors call homeostasis. What brings death at an old age is your body’s inability to maintain homeostasis over time.

Translation — it’s the act of staying the same, keeping your body the same.

Homeo means “similar” and stasis means “stable.” Your body temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, water balance and blood flow all stay the same.

When one gets out of whack, you open the door to diseases, you lose homeostasis.

So you won’t see “died of old age” on a death certificate.

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