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.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

North County Resident Turns 106

By Linda McIntosh
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Sept. 28, 2012

At her 106th birthday party this week Marie Cwiek sat down at the piano and played a part of Chopin’s “Fantasie-Impromptu” after a friend asked her to play something.

Hanging back is not part of her personality.

Wearing dangling butterfly earrings and a golden beaded necklace with matching bracelet, she raised her arms in the air as someone announced her 106th birthday and a friend shouted “Thata Girl!” She clapped, sang and moved her wheelchair back and forth as North County entertainer “Dewey” played “You are my Sunshine” and “Home on the Range” along with other old favorites for a crowd of 40 residents and friends…

...For Cwiek, long life — and music — are in the genes. Her parents, born in the 1800s, lived into their mid-80s. Both parents were musicians. Her grandfather was a music director in Italy, and she and her brother were pianists. Her sister sang opera. Cwiek started playing piano when she was 6 — a century ago and never stopped. “I like to play classical music,” she said.

But genes are not the whole story.

“It’s also about having a positive attitude and being happy,” said Mario Garrett, professor of gerontology at San Diego State University. “Sometimes, it can be a bit delusional,” he said.

When he interviewed centenarians and asked if they had enough money, many said, yes, even when their income was below poverty level. “If they expected to live longer, they did.”

Cwiek’s formula for happy living: “Be nice to everybody — it helps.”

Lynn Adler, founder of the National Centenarian Awareness Project, identified five main traits in active people over 100: genes, lifestyle, luck, strong religious beliefs, and courage. “The most remarkable thing about centenarians is their wonderful spirit — they’re not quitters.”

Cwiek doesn’t claim to have the secret for long life, but she said she never smoked or cared to drink. “I guess only the Lord knows why I’m here.”

Click to read full article.
Photo by Luis Rueda

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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.