Q. I have attended many seminars on aging and a frequently asked question is, “How many of you want to live to be 100?” Very few people raised their hands because we didn’t want to be disabled, sick, weak and dependent. That’s our picture of a 100 year old man. However, there are many articles about a society for centenarians that are more optimistic. We remember our great role model, Betty White, who almost made it happen. What should we know about the 100-year-old life? NS
You’re right. Living to be 100 has received a lot of attention with implications for what that means for us as individuals and for society. We all want to be mentally sharp, physically healthy, financially secure, and live a life of sense, purpose, and value.
That’s exactly what Laura Carstensen, Director of the Stanford Center for Longevity, and her colleagues created what they call the New Map of Life. Their work addresses the question, “What are we going to do with our centuries-long lives?” Their initiative defines new models of education, redesigns the way we work, proposes new policies on health, housing, environment, financial security and more. They note Today’s norms are based on how long we’ve lived half as long make the sequence of education, then work, family and retirement obsolete.
Then came the Blue Zone study by Dan Buettner, who studied centenarians and the oldest living people in the world, determining where they lived and what characteristics they had in common. These adults are physically active without going to the gym, eat a plant-based diet, belong to a faith community, put family first, have routines to reduce stress, have a family network and more.
The book “The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in a Perpetual Age” (Bloomsbury Information, 2016) by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott, professors from the London Business School, suggests that we are transitioning to a social and economic revolution to make the changes necessary for our 100-year-old lives. They point out that people will be working in their 80s and 90s, with changes in work influenced by robotics and artificial intelligence. There are two to three different occupations that will become the norm. They note that our leisure time will be spent less on consumption and leisure and more on investment and “regeneration”. They wrote: Age will have nothing to do with a person’s life stage. You may be a college student and no one can guess your age.
Then came the often cited New England Centenarian study, begun in 1995 and led by Dr. Thomas Perls. It is considered the largest and most comprehensive study of centenarians and their families in the world, identifying the characteristics that longevity people share and why. for it.
Take this short true-false quiz to test what you know, based in part on some research findings.
- The United States is home to 97,000 centenarians; the highest absolute figure in the world but with a per capita rate per 10,000 lower than that of other leading countries.
- Exceptional longevity runs in families.
- Middle-aged mothers have a shorter life expectancy.
- Centenarians seem to be natural stress relievers.
- Residents of Loma Linda have the lowest life expectancies of any other city in the US
- Right. America there are more centenarians in absolute numbers but not per capita over 10,000. Japan has 4.8% per 10,000 people, Italy 4.1 and the United States has 2.2 centenarians per 10,000.
- Right. Life expectancy has a genetic basis with longevity extending within families. However, a healthy lifestyle also play a role. Some studies show that genes have a 30% influence in determining longevity.
- Wrong. They really Long liver. Women who give birth after the age of 40 have a 4 times higher rate than centenarians, that is, without assisted reproduction..
- Right. Hundred-year-old man seems to handle stress weldsl, don’t let it affect them. Even in stressful situations when they became less self-sufficient, the majority in one study did not experience depression or anxiety.
- Wrong. Loma Linda residents have one of the highest life expectations in the world. They are 10 times more likely to live to 100 than the typical American. The average age of men is 89; for women is 91 years old. They fast, celebrate the Sabbath, exercise regularly and belong to a religious community, often Adventists. Clearly a valuable lifestyle. See Blue Zone research on the Internet.
We are not quite ready for a population that will live to be 100 years old. However, there is work underway to design an environment and society where exceptional longevity would be a gift. Keep stable.
Thanks NS for your thought provoking question. Stay healthy and safe, and be kind to yourself and others.
Helen Dennis is a nationally recognized leader in new aging, employment and retirement issues with academic, corporate and nonprofit experience. Contact Helen if you have questions and comments at Helendenn@gmail.com. Visit Helen at HelenMdennis.com and follow her on facebook.com/SuccessfulagingCommunity
https://www.sbsun.com/2022/01/16/what-we-know-about-living-to-100-and-what-we-are-still-learning/ What we know about living to be 100 and what we’re still learning – San Bernardino Sun