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.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy 100th Trudy Harradine

Trudy’s “secret” to her longevity is ATTITUDE, she declares. She doesn’t only say it, she demonstrates this every day. “I try to stay upbeat and positive, no matter what happens,” she tells and I walk two miles every day.  I don’t let the fact that I now have to use a walker because of my diminished vision stop me.”

Trudy lives in an apartment in a senior residence and takes care of herself, she is quick to point out. “My daughter, Kaye, comes to take me grocery shopping. She gets a kick out of the fact that all the employees know me and stop to say hello, and sometimes help me with my selections. I believe that if you’re nice to people, they will be nice to you.”

Gertrude Boucher was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, the eldest of six children. “I’m the only one to have lived this long – isn’t that amazing,” she says. Both my parents were French-Canadian, and we only spoke French at home. My parents would not allow English in the house. It was their way of ensuring that we retained our heritage. I learned English from the other kids in the neighborhood and then, of course, when I started school. It’s been hard over the years, not having anyone to speak French with. All my brothers and sisters are gone.”

Trudy’s father died when she was fourteen. “Being the eldest I had to work after school and on weekends at a local fruit and vegetable stand to try and help my mother make ends meet. But I was lucky – I got to finish high school.  Some kids in our circumstances weren’t able to. 

With a high school diploma, Trudy was able to get a job at the Federal Land Bank of Springfield. “I met my husband, Allen, there and we were married in 1940. My oldest son was born in 1942, then two more. My daughter was born nine and a half years after my youngest son – and believe it or not, she was planned. We were blessed with a girl.

Eventually, we moved to the Rochester, New York area for my husband’s work. After he passed away in 1993, my children wanted me to move closer to one of them, but I wasn’t ready to leave my home – they’ve all moved away – California, Michigan. But I had my friends and I loved my home and so I stayed on. A few years later, I sold my home and moved into an apartment at a senior retirement community in Rochester, so I could have more social connections and activities, which I knew I needed. Then, finally, at 87, I decided my kids were right, and I left New York State – which I hated to do – and moved to Michigan to be near my daughter. I have my own apartment and I’m as independent as I can be at 100. Because of my vision, I can’t play cards any more and it’s difficult to watch TV clearly. But there is a lady here in the complex who is also French-Canadian and we converse, although I must say, she is rather “losing it,” lately. There are plenty of others to socialize with though, and I stay active. I try to make the best and most of all that comes along, and it’s very nice to be close to my grandchildren and great grandchildren. They are all very good to me.”

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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.