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 04, 2008

Interest in Centenarians Keeps Growing!

On Thursday, May 1st, I gave a presentation at the monthly luncheon and meeting of the Philanthropic Education Organization, a 139 year old nationwide women’s group, headquartered in Missouri. http://www.peointernational.org/ There were about 30 women ranging in age, I would guess, from 40 to one age 90, a very lovely lady. Lots of questions and interest in my work and in centenarians. It’s reassuring to know that there are groups with so much longevity and support; it is my understanding that they have several chapters in all states, and to have been raising funds and giving aid to women - particularly older women who want to attend college - for over one hundred years is extraordinary and inspiring. It brought back memories of so many stories of women from all over the country, whose histories, and those of their mothers, went back that far. I have continually marveled at the will and determination of generation after generation of women who have bucked the odds and social norms to pursue a goal of higher education, particularly at a time - and for a long time – when it was thought somewhere between taboo and frivolous for a woman to get an education.

On Friday, May 2nd, I attended the annual Centenarian luncheon in Tucson that I started 21 years ago as part of the Arizona Centenarian Program. I then served in a consulting capacity with the group of volunteers in Tucson and traveled there for their first two annual events to ensure the program got off to a sound start - as I did with numerous other programs I inspired in other parts of the country. (Please see NCAP Background Information on our website: http://www.adlercentenarians.org/ncap.html)

The Centenarian Committee and Program of Tucson has been very successful thanks to the dedication of the volunteers and staff of the Pima Council on Aging and the Tucson Medical Center, co-sponsors of the event. I am very proud of the good work they have done and very pleased to be able to attend the event this year. There were 44 people at the luncheon, ages 99 to 107.

I met some interesting people, such as a woman who had recently taken into her group home a homeless centenarian! Imagine that!? It’s tragic, and unfortunately not the first time I have encountered this. As I have often said, there are centenarians everywhere – but homeless! – that’s a new low for our society and a national shame. Surely we can do better than this for our elders. I’m very glad to hear of private individuals and groups that are trying to lessen this dreadful situation.

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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.