Senior couple reacting to great news.

Living to 100 Successfully

Are you prepared to live to 100 years? When I ask people if they are going to live to 100, they often retort, “Why would I want to do that”? But what if you do…Many individuals I talk to at St. Monica’s are themselves amazed that they have lived this long. Our great grandparents only lived until their mid-50 or 60’s. Our grandparents lived until their 70’s and 80’s, and we are finding our parents are still alive. Dr. Eric Plasker in his book, “The 100 year Lifestyle” states “that children born today will outstrip us in longevity due to the advances in healthcare”.

As a nurse who started out my career in pediatric nursing, I was stunned to hear of a news report of a baby born with Potter’s syndrome (without kidneys) who would be able to live due to new medical advances.

How do we know if we will or might live to 100? One indication is that we could take a look at our parents and other relatives. Another way is to take a lifestyle questionnaire developed by Thomas Perls, M.D., MPH. Check out the longevity calculator at http://www.livingto100.com/calculator. The 20 minute questionnaire asks questions related to 1) how you deal with stress; 2) lifestyle questions such as smoking and caffeine usage; 3) diet and exercise; and 4) a basic health history.

My results indicated that I might live to 98, which rings some truth in that my paternal grandmother lived to be 98 years of age and my father and mother are still alive at 82 and 89. What was more helpful is that the survey pointed to areas that I need to work on in order to live a healthy life and more importantly, a higher quality of life. What are your areas to work on so that you can enjoy your life feeling healthy and vibrant?

by Loretta Baxter