Centenarians' Secrets

What You Can Learn From People Who've Lived 100-plus Years
100years

Blowing out 100 birthday candles is more possible than ever. According to the U.S. National Institute on Aging, we're on the brink of a watershed moment in history. Quite soon, there will be more people on Earth who are 65 than 5.

And longevity is reaching new records. The oldest documented person in 2012 was 116 -- that means she was 45 years old during the attack on Pearl Harbor, 73 years old when the first man walked on the moon, and already 93 when the Berlin Wall fell.

So what does it take to live to 100? According to study conducted by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, it's mostly a matter of genes. But science is also showing that even small efforts toward taking care of our health, such as exercise and diet, can have a striking effect on how long we live. To help boost your own odds, be sure to take advantage of 7 tips that'll help you live to 100.

But what about quality of life after 100? We've gone around the U.S. to find centenarians who are showing us the way -- to find out what makes life sweet on the other side of 100.

Our centenarians offered great insight. Here are some of their tips:

  • Wake up each day and just get busy.
  • Don't dwell on the tough times.
  • Bacon? You bet!
  • Find a good doctor.
  • Decide to be content.
  • Serve others.
  • Dance.
  • Forgive.

This advice might not be anything we've not heard before, but it takes on deeper meaning when it's from those who have lived long enough and well enough to know what they're talking about.

Meet the Centenarians:

Ruth Schmidt Climer, 103
Don't dwell on the tough times.

Françoise (Frances) Desneige Marquis, 101
There's just so much to do!

Dona Rosa, 103
Love each other and forgive.

Louise Seely, 102
Learn from your challenges.

Bill Frank, 103
He'd do it all again.

Kitty Mosely, 103
Enjoy every day.

Dorris T. O'Dell, 102
Try not to worry about regrets.

Simo Radulovich, 102
You need a sense of humor.


over 1 year ago, said...

Thank you all very much for your site.It is so sad to me when I see him as he is now & after 56yrs of marriage he does'nt even no me! I miss him!


about 2 years ago, said...

All the comments were positive in nature. And, all are doable. (I'm 70)


over 3 years ago, said...

With a bit of it in my father's family (himself @ 100, his eldest sister @ 104) there's something to go on. All the advice makes sense: briefly to keep going & keep at it. Exercise is my problem: osteoarthritis both knee joints with cartlidges worn away, walking has its problems; otherwise you remain as active as you can. Right foods etc are also prime. 82 it is but still a few good steps to head for!


over 3 years ago, said...

It was uplifting to hear how the Centurian's view life and without fail they all keep a positive outlook on life even though they may have suffered from events that were not good. I feel the need to get up and exercise and get moving which I seldom do. HA! HA!


almost 4 years ago, said...

Confirmation of what the Silva Mind (Self)Control Method says all along!


almost 4 years ago, said...

The article reinforced how I feel about life and aging. Now I know that my thoughts and actions on the subject are right on and healthy. It is comforting and reassuring to read about centenarians, in their own words. Hope for the future!


almost 4 years ago, said...

"I think it's great to live to be 100," says Hazel Miller. "There's no secret about it. You just don't die"¦, The best part of being 100 is that you lived to be 100. If you can enjoy it, it's an extra good thing." Ms. Miller also explains how she took up line dancing because of a lack of male dancing partners.


almost 4 years ago, said...

RUTH'S COMMENTS!


about 4 years ago, said...

That's one of many things need in life Madhatter100, but I think those things can be counted on one hand.


about 4 years ago, said...

You need a purpose in life, so when you wake up each day you have something you need to do. I did a study in Turkey near the Black Sea where many lived over 100 and still milked their goats and did gardening and lorded it over their poor daughters in law who were only 80 . . . .the ones who did not marry and have children lived shorter lives maybe because they did not have the same purpose as their married siblings.


about 4 years ago, said...

All of these lovely people are blessings from GOD!


about 4 years ago, said...

The lady I care for is exhibiting advanced signs of dementia or Alzheimers, so she has help every weekday, from 11-5. But other than blanks where her memories should be, she tracks our conversations well and remembers some of the subjects we've talked about in the past, but some other things she swears she knew nothing about! But I also need to know how to think clearly in terms of putting the keys away and also letting go of some of what I do -- like "senior sitting" and squeezin' the Charmin! at the grocery store, as well as hauling in the groceries and hauling out the garbage and recycling... the bins are a block away on very steep hills. This article somehow helped me connect with my own process and prepare for it. Thank you for posting it. Rev. Allorrah Be Circles of Light Ministries Sebastopol, California UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!


about 4 years ago, said...

Latest comment regarding the probable help of a fish augmented diet, wasn't it some time ago that s study came out regarding the state of blood, veins etc, of members of a tribe for whom fish was as good as a daily diet constituent, the key input being associated with the fish oil(s)? Whatever, it would all make good common sense, even, I understand, canned fish.


about 4 years ago, said...

What a wonderful article!


about 4 years ago, said...

I was privileged to produce a Radio Talk Show entitled "The Eighty Plus Club" over a 15 year period; quite a few of those who I interviewed were Centenarians and there was one thing most of them had in common; they ate fish quite a lot over their long lives. I would like to add that the author of the Book turned movie "To Sir, With Love", ER Braithwaite, reached his 100 birth anniversary in June 2012. He still enjoys fairly good health.


about 4 years ago, said...

just loss my dad 96 yrs he did all these things .. thanks


about 4 years ago, said...

What great stories. Wonderful lesons for all of us. Caring.com continues to deliver content that matters. Anne Pringle Burnell Stronger Seniors


about 4 years ago, said...

thanks for a very informative article


about 4 years ago, said...

The list of insigihts - it includes some things I would not have given so much weight, but which make me feel I'm going in the right direction. Specifically, DANCE! Yes! Don't just exercise, enjoy using your body!


about 4 years ago, said...

Hello All, Thank you for your comments! The focus of this article is on what we can learn from people who've lived 100-plus years. If you'd like to discuss the recent U.S. election and review factual information about the Affordable Care Act, please visit this discussion from a caregiver support group on this site: http://www.caring.com/support-groups/election-2012/46944fa6 Also, for all comments you post anywhere on Caring.com, please abide our site terms of use, community code of conduct, and privacy policy: http://www.caring.com/about/terms One key guideline to keep in mind: Differences of opinion are welcome, as long as they're presented respectfully. Personal attacks are never allowed. If your comment doesn't fit within the site terms and guidelines, it will be removed. Please contact our team if you have any questions of concerns (use the blue Feedback tab, "contact us" link at the bottom of Caring.com pages, or email moderators AT Caring.com). Thank you.


about 4 years ago, said...

To Linda Cambre I Love Obama Care I don't have Romnesia If you do Obama Care accepts pre-existing conditions. Can we can believe In


about 4 years ago, said...

Unfortunately living in the U.S. there won't be any more elders living much past the age of 75, as the new Obamacare will be put into full force and there will not be any life saving procedures for them for 75 and above, we now just let them die. Bravo Obama!!!!!


about 4 years ago, said...

It's common sense brought home! Look after yourself, keep busy, keep going, eat wisely: it doesn't have to be dull and go out of your way jn many ways: it's up to you!


about 4 years ago, said...

Thank you for sharing such great stories! My father is 91, and not quite as strong as he used to be. Great that these people are sharing their lives with us!


about 4 years ago, said...

I am the Program Director for a Senior Day Program and this is the kind of article I love to share with our seniors.