More and more Americans are living to age 100, becoming centenarians. A recent article in US News* focused on a number of factors that they seem to have in common.
Common Factors of Centenarians
- Oldest State – As a first world country, the lifestyle and customs can be attributed to increased life spans throughout the years. The state that boasts the most centenarians in the U.S. is California, with nearly 6,000 seniors aged 100 and over according to this SF News Article.
- Diseases –Staying disease free is an important key to aging well. It is well documented that a big part of remaining disease free at any age includes remaining active and eating healthy. Once again the benefits of living in a first world country includes healthcare that helps prevent and treat diseases that can shorten life spans.
- Locale – There are more centenarians in the Midwest & Northeast areas of the country than there are in the South & West; most likely due to access to better healthcare and lifestyles. This could also explain why those who live in larger cities are more likely to live to the age of 100 and over.
- Socialization – Remaining socially active is an important factor to quality of life for everyone and an important factor to living longer. Living longer is better when you’re happier and being socially active is an important part of that happiness. This article on How to Evaluate Activities Programming in Assisted Living Facilities can help you find the type of socialization that works best for you.
- Stress Reduction – Reducing your stress allows the body and mind to regenerate and refresh itself. Excellent resources to turn to include music, Yoga, reading, audio books, becoming involved in church activities and social community events.
There are no blueprints to follow for becoming a centenarian, there are certain lifestyles and habits that can increase your longevity and your overall quality of life.
Facts & Figures About Centenarians
- The Future – The oldest baby boomers were born in 1946; this means that the oldest of Americans in the biggest generation are 67 and younger. This aging generation will obviously grow older, creating more needs for good senior living options.
- The Numbers – According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette the number of those who are 100 and over has doubled since the previous census, to over 72,000 and by 2050 it is projected to be nearly 300,000.
- Genes – Your genes only account for about 10% of your chances of living to be 100 or older. While genes can help a little, the truth of the matter is that your lifestyle, diet, exercise, socialization and proactive healthcare play a bigger part in reaching 100 than genes.
- Exercise – Exercise for seniors is important. This free PDF provided by the NCOA focuses on exercise and how it benefits your balance, strength, endurance, and more.
Looking Forward to Being a Centenarian
Senior Living Experts offers a variety of services to help you take charge of aging successfully. We help make becoming a centenarian not only possible but easier by helping you make the choices you need to ensure quality of life as you age.
Photo by Sam Beebe, Ecotrust