ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Personal Finance»
  • Retirement

The Centenarians: Living a Century and More

Updated on June 9, 2012
Bessie
Bessie
A woman at 114
A woman at 114

It is hard to fathom living for a century. Think for moment. If that were to happen now, it would around 1912. The car was still rather rare and new. No fridges or dishwashers or toasters in the kitchen, let alone electric stoves. No airplanes and lots of horse and buggy still on main street in many places.

My dad, who would have been 100, had a great analogy to age. He would say, the body is like a car, the more miles you put on it, the more things start to go wrong. You can only replace and fix so many things so many times. Of course, with the human body you cannot always fix things, like my dad. They were on vacation and suddenly (this is years ago) suffered a stroke where he could function enough to mask it, but not enough to prevent my mom from driving him to the hospital-a trip he would never make, for he died in the car from a massive brain hemorrhage. He was 74 and prior to this, had been always healthy, in shape, minus aches and pains. His mother died, ironically, at the same age of the same thing, except she collapsed while in a retail store. Hmm, is that when I will also expire?

This suggests genetics, luck and diet are the prime determiners in longevity. The doctor who examined my dad simply said the "wiring" in my dad just wore out. Like the brake lines of a car. Even if he had arrived in time, nothing could have been done.

It was my dad's expiration date on his life. We all have one. As soon as you are born, you are assigned it. Some 500,000 on earth are now over 100 years old. The oldest was 122, a Jeanne Calment who lived in France in 1997. The second oldest is in the USA, a former schoolteacher at 116, if she makes August 26, I hope Besse Cooper does. While the number of 100+ is growing by 7% a year, those making past 115 years have not increased. In fact, there are not more than 10 people reaching that age in the world.

Scientists now believe that decay of the body by aging is not programmed by genes but that repair mechanisms that delay decay are. So, they believe that there is no limit to those who reach 90 or 100, but after that, the decline is rapid and getting to 120 is luck and getting to 150 years would be a miracle.

Still, what is the point of getting to the century mark if you are not somewhat active and happy? A person who is there but tied to machines, or beds, or care homes, being kept alive (in a sense) probably is secretly whispering to themselves, " I wanna go". It was hard for me to imagine myself at 40 years, when I was 17. I couldn't even grasp it. The same applies to most of us when we think of reaching 90 or 100 yrs.

One can only do so much to prolong life. You cannot control your genetic makeup and history. You just have to accept the hand you are dealt with.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • perrya profile image
      Author

      perrya 6 years ago

      Yes, attitude probably does.

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      I actually believe that an individuals thoughts and words can effect thier health. No doubt exercise, genetics and diet play a role in longevity but I wonder if good or bad generational thought patterns have a greater role in overall health. I heard of a study that showed that an individuals perception of thier health played a major role in determining future health.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)