AGING GRACEFULLY …. to 100 and beyond !
I know, I know, there are days you can hardly make it out of bed and here I am writing about living to be over 100 !! But, wouldn’t it be neat if we could do that...and do it gracefully.
A few years back I heard a wonderful interview with two doctors who had conducted a study of aging. They had made a five year study of 40 seniors who had arrived at the age of 100. These people were active, mentally alert, living on their own and able to care for themselves. They all came from the United States but were from widely varied economic backgrounds.
The doctors made an extensive documentation of : daily habits, lifestyles, ethnicity, weight, eating preferences, race and genetic backgrounds, as well as spiritual and religious leanings.
At the end of the five years these two doctors did a comparative study of their findings and came up with some fascinating conclusions. They found that it mattered little what the people ate or if they were prone to exercise…although they did point out that all their participants were moderate in these areas.
The exciting thing about their study is that ALL of the 40 people had four things in common and, remember, these were all people who are active and alert at the age of 100.
The four areas of commonality are:
1. A sense of humor.
2. A positive outlook on life.
3. The ability to bear loss.
4. A total dedication to something outside of their daily life.
The show that I listened to also included interviews. One lady had just come through the grief of losing a daughter in her 70’s and she was proving that #3 was possible. #4 was especially interesting because there were many variations on this. Quite a few were dedicated to a church or religious organization...but there were others, too. One man worked with retarded children and a few of the women helped in charitable organizations. The main thrust of #4 was to get the person away from their own problems by concentrating on others.
All in all I found this to be a very uplifting study. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m going to try to practice it in my daily life.