It appears perception is a mental stat, not a physical one, so it wouldn't be affected.
While I don't have the play experience to back this up, the penalties don't appear out of line. For the average person, the penalties are very debilitating, but they aren't totally insurmountable to an exceptional person. This tracks with what I have seen in the elderly. Most are pretty frail, but there are a few who stay active and healthy. They still have deteriorated from their prime but since they had a higher baseline and have worked harder to maintain it, they're reasonably capable.
So the game is going for a more realistic take on aging than say in D&D where the aging penalties are smaller and balanced by a gain in mental stats. Which doesn't really make much sense that getting old universally makes everyone smarter, more charismatic and wiser no matter what they do with their life. There's a great Order of the Stick comic on how getting old actually improves your eyesight since it's linked to wisdom. The point being, aging isn't supposed to be balanced.
So where does the advantage in aging come in? Leveling up. You can improve your physical stats to fight the physical deterioration of aging or to get those improved metal stats. And in most games players level up much faster than they age. But your 84 year old character will be much less effective physically that the rest of the group, because 84 year-olds are much less physically effective than people in their physical prime.
But we violate realism all the time in fiction, so if you really want to play an ass-kicking octogenarian, speak to your GM and maybe they'll make an exception for you.