The New Seniors of Today

Outdoor portrait of a happy senior couple

Age  is an attitude. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Always have something to  look forward to each day.  Have a social life; bowl, dance, golf, travel  and laugh.  Go back to school; don’t be afraid to learn something new,  you’re never too old.  We still have the  same zest for life.  There’s a line in the movie “Far and Away” that  should be our motto . . . “Don’t think of it as the end of our life,  instead think of it as the beginning of our life.”

“If you’re lucky and passionate for life you want it to last forever.”

Everyone has met someone in their life who defies the stereotype of being old. We are amazed by their display of youthfulness, good health, attitude, wit, vitality and well being. Reaching 100 years has become more commonplace rather than the exception. In fact, centenarians are the fastest growing portion of our population. It seems only natural to ask these amazing people what they attribute their longevity to. How can we increase our life expectancy? The answers are as diverse as the people themselves with a few unexpected surprises.

Scientists have determined that heredity, environment and lifestyle are the determining factor in how long you live.

Jeanne Calment of Aries, France; took up fencing lessons at age 85, still rode a bicycle at 100, smoked until the age of 117 and ate a diet rich in olive oil. She attributed her long life to garlic, vegetables, cigarettes and red wine. She also ate nearly a kilo of chocolate every week.

90 year old Mrs. Tdone gets up at two a.m. to make mozzarella, and opens her shop at seven a.m. selling to her customers all day. Mrs. Tdone takes pride in her work and the fact she can take care of herself. She lives by herself, pays her bills and apartment. “If I didn’t make mozzarella and have my shop, I would be in a home and die.” She’s been making her special cheese for over seventy years.

When asking a group of centenarian’s playing cards in a senior home, what their secret is to their longevity, they replied they had no idea except that they were basically happy and had a social life.

A spry 105 year old spinster in London, England believes your life span is determined right at conception. She’d never married and because she had a hard life, believes the best part of her life is now. She still lives by herself; takes care of herself and loves to go out about town.

One 100 year old gentleman in London, England still works repairing vans. He was an orphan and smoked and drank since he was 13 years old. He still smokes and likes his ale after work. His advice for old age is “Never rely on anybody but yourself to take care of you.”

Another centenarian says “You have to have a sense of humor, exercise and keep busy.” She enjoys a drink of sherry in the morning and one in the evening before retiring.

In Okinawa, Japan, where they have the highest number of centenarians, believe it is their diet of fresh fish and seaweed, and also to have many friends with whom to interact and play with. “You have to have a purpose to wake up to.”

Mildred Health, a 100-year-old newspaper woman still goes to work on an electric scooter and works 30 hours a week at the Overton Observer in Overton Nebraska. She loves life and working for people. She’s been a newspaper-woman for 83 years. “Her work is what keeps her vibrant.” remarks her son-in-law.

Everyday there is a heartwarming story about a senior or centenarian that makes the future look a little brighter for us. There isn’t one magic formula that will make us live longer. But there seems to be a common theme amongst these seniors; enjoy your life, be independent and have something to look forward to every day. Challenge your brain, have a social life, surround yourself with family and loved ones, don’t think in terms of old, eat healthy whole foods and reduce caloric intake. Exercise and never stop learning.

In closing a 105 woman states; “If you’re lucky and passionate for life you want it to last forever.”


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