Yesterday, I had a wonderful opportunity to attend the first annual Centenarian event in Northern Virginia, where individuals who had reached the age of 100 (and beyond) were honored. The oldest attendee was actually 105! This beautiful event was the vision of ElderTree founder, Kate Caldwell, who felt compelled to not only honor the incredible life span of these individuals, but also to share their wisdom and zest for life.
It was certainly inspiring to be in a room with so many individuals who had spent their early years in a world devoid of television, computers, cell phones, commercial airplanes, and microwave ovens. These centenarians were born at a time when World War I was raging across the globe. As children, they actually had to create their own fun and activity, rather than have it flash on a screen in front of them. Just think of all the changes they have experienced in their lifetime.
To what do they credit their long lives? One centenarian espoused the benefits of Vitamin B complex. For others, it was sharing their life with good friends and family. And, everyone agreed that a positive attitude certainly helped make each day worth living. Here are some of the words of wisdom that the Centenarians at our event shared with us:
“Keep busy doing the things that you enjoy.” – Norman Hill
“You have to make up your own mind to be happy so you can take the bumps of life…” – Hasso Von Bredow
“Keep busy and have friends!” – Vera Punke
“Refusing to get old! Act like a young man! Say no to drugs and take care of your body by exercising.” – Ray Renola
“Knowing God intimately; having a loving family; and, living life to its best.” – Ferne Sickels
The Centenarians at this event left us inspired with their words of wisdom and their enthusiasm for living life to its fullest!
Written by: Nancy Dezan, Aging Life Care Manager