In The Sims, elder does not exist as a separate life stage, as Sims in this game never age. There are head and body skins which can give a Sim the appearance of being elderly, but it will be no more than an appearance. This means that female Sims who appear elderly in the game, such as Cornelia Goth and Ginia Kat, can still have children.
The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories
Elder is the final life stage in The Sims 2. Sims will have grey hair (though custom hair for elders may not be gray) and a hunched back during this stage. Players with Nightlife or later should note that elder Sims will likely be considered to have gray hair for purposes of chemistry, even if they have custom hair that is not gray.
At the end of elderhood, the Sims dies of old age. It's the only age from the base game that doesn't have a fixed duration. The number of days an elder gets theoretically depends on where the Sim's aspiration bar is when that Sim ages. Elders are 54 days old when they become elders. They are then provisionally given 10 days as an elder, but two numbers will affect this. First, a random number number of days from 1 to 10 will be added on, there is no way to influence this number. Secondly, aspiration comes into account; based on the color of the Sim's aspiration bar, days are added as follows: Platinum = +10, Gold = +7, Green = +3, Upper Red = 0, Lower Red = -2. Instead of showing the number of days until the Sim ages, the age bar shows how many days he or she has lived. However, this will not show days added by drinking the Elixir of Life, drinking from the Cowplant[TS2:U], or the Give Me A Long Life wish[TS2:FT]. The number of days an elder Sim has left can be viewed in SimPE.
Elders do not have many special interactions, but a notable feature is that if two elders were married as adults, they can throw a golden anniversary party. Elder female Sims cannot get pregnant, but elder male Sims can still impregnate adult female Sims. Sims who have jobs when they become elders can keep those jobs, or they can retire and live off a pension. (Since retirement can be a major want, it's recommended that they retire.) A retired Sim's weekly pension will be half the weekly salary of the job he or she retired from, and the Sim will receive one-seventh of that each day. A retired Sim who takes a part-time job will keep his or her pension; the part-time job will be shown in a second tab on the job panel. Elder Sims with part-time jobs cannot retire from those jobs. If an elder lives a good life and has a platinum aspiration bar at the time of death by old age, they will get a special gravestone marked with their aspiration symbol.
Elders are not included in The Sims Pet Stories.
Examples of Elders in The Sims 2
The Sims 2 (console version)
As in The Sims and console versions of The Sims, elders do not exist in the console version of The Sims 2. However, in CAS, a Sim can be given white/grey hair with old-looking skin. Sims like Patrizio Monty and Isabella Monty look like elders, but are still technically adults (since it is possible to change their looks and make them "younger").
The Sims 3 and The Sims 3 (console)
Elder returns as a life stage in The Sims 3. It is the seventh and final life stage.
As in the previous game, elders are the last life stage before Death, and represent Sims beyond retirement age. Elder Sims appear somewhat hunched over, walk more slowly and take slightly longer to complete tasks than other Sims. By default, elder Sims have gray hair upon aging up from adults, but they can still dye it by using the Change Appearance interaction with a mirror if the player so chooses. Female elders can no longer become pregnant, but male elders retain the ablility to father children with adult and young adult Sims. Elders of both genders still have the option of adopting children.
Unlike other life stages in The Sims 3, the elder stage does not have a set length and can be prolonged through means other than eating Ambrosia. Rather than having a bar on the Simology panel that indicates the number of days left until they age up, the bar for an elder Sim shows the total number of days that the Sim has lived for. On the normal lifespan setting, elders will always live to be at least 90 days old, resulting in the elder stage lasting for a minimum of 16 days before death becomes a possibility. Elder Sims with the Vegetarian trait will live slightly longer than other Sims, as will those that have completed the Marathon Runner challenge at some point in their lives. At the end of the elder stage, Sims will die of old age. If an elder Sim is part of a household that is otherwise composed of nothing but babies, toddlers or children, the other members of the household will be relocated to new homes when the elder's death is imminent.
As in earlier games in the series, elder Sims can retire from their job and live off a pension. Retirement lets Sims enjoy the time they have left without paying attention to workdays. This option, however, can put the Sim at a noticeable financial disadvantage to Sims that continue to work in some cases. A Sim at level 10 in the political career, for instance, will be paid approximately §582 per hour and only work three days per week. With working hours of 9:00 am to 1:30 pm, they will earn around §2619 every workday, far more than the daily payments of §280 they would gain from their pension if they were to retire. As a result, retirement may not always be the best choice, though this is entirely dependent on the player's opinion. Unlike in The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories, elder Sims are able to join new careers rather than being restricted to part-time jobs. However, if a Sim who has previously retired returns to full-time work, they cannot retire a second time.
If The Sims 3: Generations is installed, an elder Sim may use a walking cane. There are three different cane designs available, and elders using them may be assigned one of two different walking animations while using them, known as the Geriatric Gait and the Southern Gentleman. The former is a hunched-over and rather stiff-looking animation suggesting a particularly old or frail elder Sim, while the latter is much more upright, confident and energetic.
Things that Elders can do that younger Sims can't:
- Die of Old Age
- Female Sims cannot get pregnant, but male Sims can still impregnate young adult and adult females.
- Write a historical book
- Use walking canes[TS3:G]
- Reminisce about younger life[TS3:G]
- Boast about grandchildren[TS3:G]