I am a bit confused about the meanings of "old" and "elderly". I know that elderly is a "polite" version of "old" but nonetheless I have the impression that "elderly" is older than "old", and that when I speak of "the elderly" or "elderly people" this is rather related to people let's say 75+ or even older, and that there is a connotation of frailty or vulnerability.
The reasons why I am asking: we are writing a text about people who work beyond retirement - so most of them are between 65 and around 75. What are they: Old workers? Elderly workers? Or perhaps older workers? I'd have the tendency not to use elderly in this context.
So who's the oldest of those three? I'd think that
"older workers" are the youngest (well, least old)
"old workers" are a bit older (and it sounds a bit impolite) and
"elderly workers" are very old
But I might be completely wrong - so what do native speakers say (in particular British English speakers)?
Thanks!