Welcome Bloggers to Live to 100 and Beyond

We invite you to celebrate your favorite centenarian by submitting photos and short stories or bios. Please email to adler@ncap100s.org.

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"People have been fascinated by longevity ever since learning of Ponce de Leon’s search in Florida, five centuries ago, for the fountain of youth. In the twentieth century, the search for longevity, and the good health that makes it possible, had been enhanced by discoveries such as antibiotics and other lifesaving drugs, heroic medical interven­tions, which included organ transplants, heart pacemakers and other life-prolonging devices, the emergence of preventive medicine, and a new focus on wellness. On an individual level, people were realizing that, to an ever-increasing extent, they were able to influence life-style factors that could lead to a healthier and longer life—perhaps even a life of 100 years or more." (Opening paragraph from "Centenarians, The Bonus Years," by Lynn Peters Adler, Health Press, Santa Fe, NM, 1995)

Longevity itself is one of the greatest advances of the 20th century, adding approximately 30 years to the average life span. Now, in the 21st century, with the advent of even greater medical advances and the promise shown by stem cell and genetic breakthroughs, the chances for an even greater increase in longevity seems possible.

Active centenarians are our role models. They are helping to redefine aging in new and inspirational ways.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

ABC Barbara Walters Special - "Live To Be 150...Can You Do It?", Ageism & Dr. Robert Butler

In response to the comment that was posted asking if the ABC Barbara Walters special -- "Live To Be 150 ... Can You Do It?" -- addresses the issue of ageism, this excellent question takes us on a more substantive and serious topic. I’m not sure if ageism will be addressed, however, since Dr. Robert Butler is on the program, this is sure to be an excellent portrayal of longevity, in all its various aspects. For those of you who don’t know of Dr. Butler and his work, I refer you to his website at The International Longevity Center – USA: http://www.ilcusa.org/; and I will quote from my book, “Centenarians: The Bonus Years” (Health Press, 1995, pg. 231, Chapter 7: “The Challenge of Surviving in Today’s Complex Society.”

In modern times in our culture, it seems that the longer people live, the more likely they are to be shunned by society, and, tragically, sometimes excluded from their own families. Ageism is an unpleasant fact of life for many people of advanced age today; for centenarians, it is a cultural bias that they have lived during their older decades. The word was coined in the late 1960s by Dr. Robert Butler, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his book, “Why Survive? Being Old in America.” The word “ageism” is included in Webster’s dictionary as coming into popular use in 1970 meaning “prejudice or discrimination against a particular age group and especially the elderly.”

“Ageism” has been my motivation to work in the field of aging. I first became aware of it – long before I knew the word, or for that matter, long before the word was coined – at the age of 15, and it made a lasting impression, one that shaped my career. (See “About Lynn” and “About NCAP” sections of our web site: http://www.adlercentenarians.org/.)

I am very honored to be even a small part of any program where Dr. Butler is involved. I have long been an admirer of his. (Hanging on a wall of his New York City office are a couple of photos from an article I wrote for Ms. Magazine (Jan. 2000) and the year 2000 calendar (Cedco Publishing) produced through National Centenarian Awareness Project.) I will be a guest commentator on his "Ageism In America Blog” late next week. His new book: “The Longevity Revolution: Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life” was published last month. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic of longevity and the ageism that unfortunately often accompanies a long life.

To post a comment, click on the "comments" link, which follows.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ms. Adler,

    Many thanks for your kind post. Perhaps your readers would be interested in reading a short excerpt from Dr. Butler's new book. It can be found at The Longevity Revolution's dedicated Web site.

    We look forward to your blogging with us!

    Anti-Ageism Task Force
    International Longevity Center-USA
    60 East 86th St.
    New York, NY 10028
    Visit us on the Web
    Visit our Ageism Blog


ABC Barbara Walters Special - Aging & Longevity

The ABC Barbara Walters Special on longevity aired in April of 2008. I was asked two years ago to participate in this project and it was a wonderful, exhilarating experience. It was both an honor and a privilege to work with Ms. Walters and the talented and caring team of professionals on her staff. I invite you to read the "Behind the Scene" story on our website. Here's the link: http://www.adlercentenarians.org/ABCWalters_special.htm
Posts & comments about the special and the participating centenarians follow. Please scroll down.