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.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Driver's Test Renews More Than License


“I was at the DMV last Saturday renewing my driver’s license before it expired on my birthday (today). The place was an absolute zoo – no neat lines with numbers called out clearly on amplifiers, as they have in some places – this was just chaos, with an automated speaker calling out people’s names – very hard to hear and understand over the din.  I was thinking about how difficult it must be for those intrepid centenarians who would venture in to a similar place to renew their licenses.  I know several centenarians who are driving – all without incident - and many with perfect driving records.  Still, the process of license renewal can be daunting since over a certain age (not me, yet!) many states require an actual driving test and they all require an eye test.  And with so many young people there taking their first driver’s test and teenagers waiting with their parents to obtain their learner’s permit, I must admit that I was feeling a bit out of place.  I thought back to my 16th birthday when I was at a DMV first thing in the morning with my Mom to get my learner’s permit – I didn’t want to waste even one day!  Couldn’t wait to get on the road - especially solo!

Then, by coincidence, along with an e-mail birthday wish from a friend, I received the article below.  The joke’s on me – this lady obviously is not intimidated by her age – or anything else!  I should have known…

105-year-old California woman 'relieved' to pass driver's test with flying colors

By Cristina Corbin 
Published January 28, 2013
FoxNews.com

Edythe Kirchmaier, 105, provided this
photo of herself.

Calvin Coolidge was president and Babe Ruth was having the best season of his career when Edythe Kirchmaier took her first driving test. Last week, she passed her most recent road test at the age of 105.

The California great-grandmother, who has never had so much as a parking ticket, said the test was a snap -- and she never even thought about turning in her card and leaving the driving to someone else.

"I just couldn't imagine myself without a car," Kirchmaier told FoxNews.com. "It just didn't feel very good."

The Santa Barbara resident started out driving on the streets of Chicago in a Model A Ford Coupe back in 1927 while attending graduate school. That was long before the days of traffic jams and $4-per-gallon gas, and Kirchmaier said plenty of other things have changed, too.

"When I learned to drive, there were no rules of the road," said Kirchmaier. "The roads were narrow and there were no signs saying 55 mph or anything like that."

Through it all, Kirchmaier, who now drives a 1997 Dodge Caravan, has maintained a perfect driving record for 85 years -- with no accidents, speeding tickets or parking violations to report.

"I think I’m a pretty good driver," said Kirchmaier. "I feel safe about getting my driver's license renewed because I’ve never had an accident."

Kirchmaier took her latest DMV driver's test on Jan. 23, the day after she turned 105. It'll be good until 2017.

Born in 1908 in Dayton, Ohio, Kirchmaier moved to the Santa Barbara area with her husband after the couple were married. She has worked as a volunteer for a local non-profit, Direct Relief International, for the past 40 years.The organization has a Facebook app dedicated to Kirchmaier, which allows visitors to light a candle on her virtual birthday cake. Her goal is to get 105,000 likes for the agency. Click to visit Direct Relief Int'l and light a candle on Edthye's birthday cake.

"For nearly 40 years, Edythe has been a volunteer at Direct Relief International, supporting the nonprofit's mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by disaster, poverty and civil unrest. Edythe's invaluable service spans across many of Direct Relief's historic disaster relief efforts, including Haiti, the Japan earthquake and most recently Hurricane Sandy," states the site, which has nearly 70,000 likes.

Kirchmaier is also one of the older drivers on the information superhighway: Kirchmaier, who has an active Facebook profile of her own, is reportedly the oldest member on the social media site. 

 To post a comment, click on the "Comments" link below or send an email to adler@ncap100s.org.  
 

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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.