This is the month we head into the time of year affectionately known as “season,” when many part time residents return to our fair isles. One of the charms of the Florida Keys is that we are more united by attitude and values than divided by age, gender, race or who we love. Whether 25 or 95, younger or even older, we’re here to share this place we love and support our unique community.
Learning from those who have gone before provides clues on the most important areas of focus to continue our particular (perhaps even quirky) pursuit of happiness. In that way, we’re not that different from people all over the world – at least the ones who’ve reached the age of 100.
It’s good to know their views, and to listen to their sage advice about living. According to the U.S. Census Bureau the number of Centenarians living in the U.S. is projected to increase to 580,000 by 2040. The fastest growing demographic is those 85 years of age and older. A poll of healthy Centenarians called “100 at 100” conducted by Evercare, a program of UnitedHealth Care, revealed some secrets to their success in life.
These secrets include many simple notions that most of us may not so simply incorporate into our lives right now.
Notice that pursuing friendship appears twice on this list. All the more reason for us Island Janes to get together more regularly and more often to collaborate, share, support and enjoy one another! Since the vast majority of Centenarians are women, starting now will serve us well.
Feeling young and living life to its fullest (to make your biggest impact, unique contribution and feel most fulfilled) require more than staying physically healthy. Living healthy is about having a sense of purpose and maintaining a zest for life, connected to others. The specific ingredients of staying healthy are different for each of us, but knowing the basics can help you live with meaning and joy throughout your life, no matter what age you start.
That includes coping with change, engaging in activities you enjoy, staying connected (more deeply than through technology, but staying up on the latest, too), boosting vitality through healthy eating and exercise, and keeping your mind sharp. Whether you’re 25, 50, 75 or older, practicing good habits for healthy aging, coping with change, finding meaning and joy, staying connected and boosting vitality are universal – whatever your age, you’ll find tips you can incorporate now at http://www.helpguide.org/life/healthy_aging_seniors_aging_well.htm
How well are you doing in each of these areas? What would you like to be different and how will you make that happen? No time like the present to incorporate them if you want to be around a long time enjoying your life to its fullest.
Stay close to family and friends: 90%
Keep your mind active: 89%
Laugh and have a sense of humor: 88%
Stay in touch with spirituality: 84%
Look forward to each new day: 83%
Keep moving and exercising: 82%
Maintain sense of independence: 81%
Eat right: 80%
Keep up with news & current events: 63%
Keep making new friends: 63%
- Approximately eight of out every nine centenarians are women
- There are somewhere between 96,000 and 105,000 Centenarians in America according to various data sources including the U.S. Census Data as of November, 2009
- Research suggests that Centenarians have been doubling in number every decade since the 1950s and that by 2050, there will be close to 1,000,000 American Centenarians making it the fastest growing age segment in our population.
- America has the most Centenarians, followed by Japan with approximately 44,000+ as of September, 2010. Other countries with substantial (verified) numbers of Centenarians include Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Canada and France. Best estimates support that there are about 500,000+ Centenarians living in the world today…
- The world record holder (verified) Super Centenarian is acknowledged to be Madame Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who lived 122 years and 164 days. She died in 1997.