Living to 100 (Hint - No More Diets!)


Living to 100 (Hint - No More Diets!)

May in the US is designated as "Older American's Month."  In my opinion, every month and every day we should be honoring the older people in our lives and in our communities.  Through my nonprofit, yesterday we held a luncheon for the people we help who are over 95 years old and still living independently.  They were brought to the luncheon by one of our volunteers or an adult child who lives close.

Our 30 guests ranged in age from 101 years old down to our "young-ens" at 95 years old.  All were dressed impeccably, excited to be there and were upbeat and positive.

As I walked around the room greeting people and thanking them for coming, of course, I was also on a mission.  You guessed it - what was their secret?? They get asked this all the time, so they all sort of rolled their eyes when I asked, but indulged me.

I did notice 3 trends:

  1. None of them do any formal type of exercise or belonged to a gym, but in their own way they were very proud to be active in whatever way they could.  Domenica, who is going to be 101 on June 1st, still loves walking along the grocery aisles with her coupons. She does a lot of baking for her family and danced up a storm at her grand-daughters wedding last week.  There were absolutely no couch potatoes in this group!

  2. They all ate dessert and without a hint of guilt!!  We served lemon-meringue pie and not one of them said "no, I'm on a diet."  In fact, one of the things we notice is that almost everyone over 90 years old has ice cream on their shopping list every week.  I'm guessing they conquered that age old adage "everything in moderation."  Gives me hope for the future since my life is one long diet after another...

  3. They relished the chance to be with others and laughed a lot.  No one in this group were without their challenges.  Anna who is turning 101 on May 27th is almost completely blind from Macular Degeneration, but wouldn't have missed the chance to attend and enjoyed catching up with our staff.  Edna who is 98 can hardly hear a thing, but that didn't stop her from enjoying the chance to get dressed up and be a guest of honor.  The room was filled with walkers and also filled with joy.

One of the best things in my life is that I get to meet inspirational people like this and learn from them.  No one knows what our futures will bring.  It gives me hope though, that if these people are any indication, growing older while trying our best to stay active and stay connected with others can be another nice chapter in our life.

If you want to see some fun photos of this party - check out our facebook page - Caregiver Volunteers

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