Do you want to live to be in your nineties? How about living to be 100 and beyond in relatively good health for that age? More and more of the oldest adult Americans are doing just that. University of Southern California longevity researchers studying this extraordinary group of people have found several characteristics unique to the population of the oldest old:
1) They were more likely to live independently and had fewer diseases, better mental health, and better physical and cognitive function than those who did not survive to age 97.
2) They experienced health declines upon reaching 97 years of age, but between one-fifth and one-third of them remained disease free with no functional limitations or depressive symptoms, and one-fifth retained high cognitive function.
3) Oldest men were healthier than the oldest women, and whites were generally healthier than nonwhites. Oldest adults who were educated had better cognitive function than their less-educated counterparts.
Sure, we all know of and hear most about very old adults who reach maximum longevity in a state of poor health and functioning. But let us not forget about and encourage others to be more aware of the oldest of the old who remain healthy and high-functioning.
In this video titled Secrets to Living 100 Years, exceptionally old adults share their personal secrets to longevity:
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homesis available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.