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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Living to the age of 104 by Loretto on 25 January 2012 8:37pm
My family and I attended funeral services last night (wake) and today (memorial service and burial) of a man who lived to the ripe old age of 104.

In the eulogy we learned of all the things this man had lived through. The sinking of the Titanic, World War 1 and 2, he lived to see 19 presidents elected and he voted in the last election! Amazing.

When University researchers came out to do medical tests on him to try and discover his secret to longevity he told them that his secret was that he loved his family.....Milton worked on the "Heroes Tunnel" to Hamden on the Merritt-Wilbur Cross Parkway. The tunnel is the only one in Connecticut that cuts through a natural obstacle, The Sleeping Giant mountain.

Milton was married to my husband's Great Aunt Alice.


As we drove up to the service today, on the Merritt and the Wilbur Cross, workers were planting trees, rebuilding or replacing the median which had been destroyed in the last two hurricanes/tropical storms. His legacy lives on I guess.
Re: Living to the age of 104 by ev on 25 January 2012 10:08pm
There's a good TED talk on 'How to live to be 100+'.. they looked at a few cultures around the world where people tend to live until they're very old, and try to work out some of the reasons why:

Re: Living to the age of 104 by Loretto on 26 January 2012 2:23am
Thanks ev, that was a really great and inspiring video/talk. I just watched the whole thing and will happily share the edited trascript here:

Dan Buettner debunks two major longevity myths:
1. We are not programmed for longevity, we are programmed for procreative success. 1 in 5,000 people live past 100 years.
2. There are no treatments to stop aging.

He then goes on to discuss the "Blue Zones" around the world where people are living to 100 or more.

1. Sardinia (Norel province: spelling may be incorrect)
Plant Based Diet
Activity is built into their day
They drink a little each day
(LITTLE being the most important part of that sentence!)
Wisdom and age is celebrated

2. Okinawa-Island off Japan (northern part)
Plant based diet
Eat off smaller plates
Built in strategies to stop over eating
The elders live together in Ikigui groups. (Again, phonetic spelling here so might be incorrect)
There is no word for "Retirement" in their language.

3. 7th Day Adventists in Northern California
Nature Walks once per week
Plant based diets
Connections with other 7th Day Adventists
Activity built into their day

The Common Denominators among all people in these Blue Zones were:
1. Activity is built into their day
2. They downshift to purposefully slowdown and relax
3. Sense of purpose
4. Drink a little alcohol every day
(I wish I could italicize the word little here)
5. Plant based diets
6.Strategies in place to prevent over eating
7. Remain connected to others "Isolation kills"
8. Religion/Faith
9.Belonging to the right "Tribe."
Re: Living to the age of 104 by johnnyBgood! on 26 January 2012 4:27am
I have no intention of living till 55.
Re: Living to the age of 104 by Lounge Trekker on 26 January 2012 5:17am
Thanks for the summary. That guy can talk, I just wasn't ready to listen that well.

If something happens so I lose interest in eating, like having my tongue cut out for example, I'll be able to attempt a plant-based diet. It will take some serious happenings to make me even want to live to 100.
Re: Living to the age of 104 by kazzzz on 26 January 2012 6:12am
That's such a great story Loretto.
I looked after a lady a couple of years back who was also 104, she died just before her 105th birthday. She was a joy to spend time with, most of her communication was through her eyes and her smile. I found it such a priviledge to spend time with her.
Re: Living to the age of 104 by kazzzz on 26 January 2012 6:14am
Re: Living to the age of 104 by kazzzz on 26 January 2012 6:15am
Re: Living to the age of 104 by Spursfan2 on 26 January 2012 9:41am
In her latter years, my Mom had to go into a residential home and at that time, the oldest woman in England also lived there (no Johnny - it wasn't me!!).

This lady was 120!! It was about 1997, so she must have been born in 1877 - think of all the things SHE had lived through!! Mom saw her on at least one occasion, in the home's hairdressing salon. She said the woman was blind, deaf and couldn't walk, abd spent most of her time in her bed asleep. A great achievement to get to that age, but what quality of life did she have??

I THINK the woman lived another year or two after that.

Of course, I want to live forever, but I would like to have all my faculties please!!
Re: Living to the age of 104 by Loretto on 26 January 2012 12:03pm
You are right Anne, quality of life is very important. This man, the 104 year old, gardened every day and walked every day. He ate ice cream every day! In the last 4-5 years though things did change. But when you watch that video and see the 104 year old woman on a bike and lifting weights, then she volunteers in 7 different organizations....I think it is simply the luck of the draw.

Kazzz, I give you credit. I could not be a health care worker for the elderly. Especially in a nursing home. I find it very depressing. My father in law had a stroke in August and was rehabbed in a nursing home about 15 miles away from us. It was a nice one, but honestly, lots of sadness there.

Pete, I found it interesting that he mentioned "tribes" sticking together. Isn't that how Outliers started off too?
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