OT for just a second. Think of it in the alternative way, to-wit:
"Elder: Superior to another or others, as in rank.
Usage Note: The adjective elder is not a synonym for elderly. In comparisons between two persons, elder means “older” but not necessarily “old”: My elder sister is sixteen; my younger, twelve. (Eldest is used when three or more persons are compared: He is the eldest of four brothers.) In other contexts elder does denote relatively advanced age but with the added component of respect for a person's achievement, as in an elder statesman. If age alone is to be expressed, one should use older or elderly rather than elder: A survey of older Americans; an elderly waiter. ·Unlike elder and its related forms, the adjectives old, older, and oldest are applied to things as well as to persons."
EDIT: I copied this off of some online dictionary or another. LOL
SECOND EDIT: Oh, yea (LOL I ALWAYS do that!), here's where I got it from. Better give credit where credit is due. (I think I like this dictionary!
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.