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, May 18, 2008

"If you're not concerned about aging, you will be."

This past week I attended the Arizona Governor’s Council on Aging Conference, for two days. http://www.azgovernor.gov/gaca/

Even if I were not a member of the Council, I would have enjoyed it. The presentations were relevant and well done and the booths and information available was very useful. Several of the sessions focused on caregiving issues and caregivers’ support and services. It’s amazing how this topic has exploded over the years, most likely because Boomers are now helping their aging parents. And it’s also amazing how much help is available to help adult children cope and to provide assistance. I would recommend that people attend conferences and events that provide information in their area. It’s really worth the time and cost, which is usually nominal. People also come to understand that they are not alone in dealing with many of the problems – challenges – we face, or will someday. A comment was made: “If you are not concerned about aging, you will be.” But it’s a whole lot better now – so many more options – than it was when I entered the field 25 years ago and it will inevitably continue to improve.

One of the most common problems among elders, and especially centenarians, is the loss of vision. I learned at the conference about a nonprofit organization here called Sun Sounds of Arizona, whose members read local and national newspapers, news magazines and other publications each day, and each night at 9 p.m. there’s a book reading. It’s a free service and people can receive, on loan, a special (and easy to use) radio that receives the closed circuit broadcast; or people can access the broadcast on the Internet: http://www.sunsounds.org/ and even by telephone. The service covers all of Arizona and currently has 49,000 listeners. I’m going to try a demonstration, and then start recommending it to people I know who would benefit. It’s very frustrating for elders who used to enjoy reading to not have this simple pleasure available to them.

Surely people compensate by listening to radio programs, but this is material written to be read, not just listened to, and I think that to those of us who love reading, there is a distinction. There may be programs like this in other parts of the country. Perhaps your local library would give you some assistance in finding a similar service.

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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.