The late 19th century saw the beginnings of some fundamental and exceptional demographic changes, above all in western industrialized countries, that have led to an aging society today. This trend is set to intensify in the coming decades, making old age one of the most important social issues and research topics. In the introduction, important aspects of this development are compared to premodern times, especially the Middle Ages, to identify significant differences. The next two sections discuss first the state of research in the treatment of old age by medievalists and afterwards that of modern gerontology. The latter has begun to open up to the humanities, going beyond the traditional key disciplines of medicine, biology, sociology and psychology. Medievalists have been dealing with questions related to old age since the 1980s – tackling issues of relevance to the more recent trends in gerontology – and to an increasing extent in recent years. However, despite these rapprochements there is little interdisciplinary engagement. The fourth section will offer some reflections on the applicability of gerontological theories and concepts to historical topics. Then some perspectives on „gerontological medieval studies“ – a medievalist approach to gerontology, which still remains to be developed – are presented by considering the following aspects: concepts of ageing, age and old age, the life course and wisdom. In the future, this approach could be extended to „historical old age studies“ encompassing all periods and „historical studies of the ages of man“ including all stages of human life.