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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Transitions – 100 is the new 70? Not yet!


Lately, I can’t go a day without hearing about someone more than 100 years old. Like Ms. Francis, known as “America’s Grandmother.” The oldest living American, the 114-year-old “just feels like living every day.” She is also the oldest person in the world who lives at home – with her 95-year-old daughter!

Yoshiko Miwa is the oldest living Japanese American at 110. She was born in the U.S. and interned during WWII. Her motto is don’t dwell. The unjust prisoners of Japanese descent often said “gaman,” meaning “enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity.” She does not wallow in the negative.

My husband’s Aunt Alice is 108. Several decades ago, we went for a walk, and I couldn’t keep up. And we are familiar with Naperville’s Don O’Reilly, who died this March. Don was an active member of the VFW Honor Guard and G.I. Yoga. At 102, he stood holding the flag on Veteran’s Day at Memorial Park. 

Longevity expert Dr. Michael Roizen, Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic and a New York Times best-selling author, told the Christian Broadcasting Network recently said that by the early 2030s the average lifespan would increase by around 30 years, making 100 the new 70. That’s less than ten years from now. Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz were Oprah regulars. I got an on-air evaluation after I took their Real Age test. Due to lifestyle choices, they told me I was younger than my chronological age. Twin sisters on the show were eight years apart in Real Age because one was a sedentary heavy smoker.

Centenarians currently make up 0.03% of the overall U.S. population and are expected to reach 0.1% in 2054 – from 101,000 to about 422,000. Are the super-agers going to be the new 70? If so, I’m sure that most of them will have a zest for life, exercise, volunteer, and not dwell on the negative. Invest for the long term!

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Barbara Blomquist
Barbara Blomquist
Barbara Blomquist is a Naperville resident, wife, mother, quilter, and screenwriter. Contact her at BWBLomquist@aol.com.