D.A.R.E. To Be 100 Part 1 – September is Healthy Aging Month!
September is Healthy Aging Month! It’s a great time of year to turn over a new leaf, assess your lifestyle and make your health a priority!
We’ll be sharing a five-part blog post series with you throughout the month of September written by Generation Care President, Holly Lookabaugh-Deur. Holly is a Board-Certified Geriatric Physical Therapist, a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults, and an advocate for anyone who needs help to feel better! Holly’s philosophy is that aging doesn’t have to be a bad thing! You can grow old gracefully AND in good health! Head over to her bio page for her contact information if you’d like to reach out, and be sure to catch the other four posts in this series that will be published throughout the month!
D.A.R.E. To Be 100 – Part 1 by Holly Lookabaugh-Deur, PT, DSc, GCS, CEEAA
“If you are going to get old, you might as well get as old as you can!” Wise and inspiring words from Dr. Walter Bortz II, author of Dare to Be 100.
DARE is actually an acronym coined by Bortz identifying what his research shows the keys to successful aging to be:
Our biological compass may come from D, R, and E, but aging research all agrees that ATTITUDE (and genetics) is the most important factor to living a long life.
Life expectancy is beginning to level off at 78-80 years of age. By any aging theory, 120 years is the maximum age determined by cell reproducibility – and the oldest human recorded lived to 122 years of age. According to a study from Duke University, by 2080, the average life expectancy in America will be 100 for men and 108 for women. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts: “…if rates continue, the average life expectancy in 2050 will be 100 years of age.” If we do the math…that is 19 million centenarians in 2050.
Genetics plays a significant role in life expectancy. We are all given a blueprint that allows us a maximum number of years before “systems death” occurs from a physiological perspective. How we live determines if we have the opportunity to use our entire potential.
Intertwining Three Key Areas Of Life
Bortz’s message is both simple and profound. Instead of looking at life and its phases of Education (youth), then Work (mid-life), and Leisure (aged), he encourages us to embrace a plan where all three key areas are intertwined across the lifespan; rather, continue to learn, work, and enjoy leisure time throughout life. Many disagree with the notion of working longer than necessary, but if we look at work as being productive and contributing to the world around us, whether at a job, or mentoring others, or volunteering, “work” has a broad meaning. ENGAGEMENT is using our attitude to interact with everything in our life, rather than being passive participants and watching time slip by.
Are we focusing on the right things? The important things? Or simply worrying too much? A profile of the researched cohort of adults 100 or older includes:
- Only half took vitamins. Calcium is the most common “extra” they ingest
- WORK is the number one prescription for longevity – they don’t “take it easy”
- They have realistic and simple expectations
- A pleasant outlook on life gets them through the days
- Flexible personality; one that “rolls with the punches”
- There is an efficiency to their lifestyle; they don’t need a lot of belongings
- This group possesses a lack of self-consciousness
- Other common characteristics include being frugal, optimistic, harmonious, and somewhat fearless of change
Watch for D.A.R.E. To Be 100 – Part 2 coming up on September 7th!