Adult stem cells have been identified in most mammalian tissues of the adult body and are known to support the continuous repair and regeneration of tissues. A generalized decline in tissue regenerative responses associated with age is believed to result from a depletion and/or a loss of function of adult stem cells, which itself may be a driving cause of many age-related disease pathologies. Here we review the striking similarities between tissue phenotypes seen in many degenerative conditions associated with old age and those reported in age-related nuclear envelope disorders caused by mutations in the LMNA gene. The concept is beginning to emerge that nuclear filament proteins, A-type lamins, may act as signalling receptors in the nucleus required for receiving and/or transducing upstream cytosolic signals in a number of pathways central to adult stem cell maintenance as well as adaptive responses to stress. We propose that during ageing and in diseases caused by lamin A mutations, dysfunction of the A-type lamin stress-resistant signalling network in adult stem cells, their progenitors and/or stem cell niches leads to a loss of protection against growth-related stress. This in turn triggers an inappropriate activation or a complete failure of self-renewal pathways with the consequent initiation of stress-induced senescence. As such, A-type lamins should be regarded as intrinsic modulators of ageing within adult stem cells and their niches that are essential for survival to old age.