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Old 02-09-2012, 06:46 AM   #1
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Anyone have centenarian or long-lived family (or know any)?

You've probably seen people on the news now and then who are featured for being 100, or see articles highlighting things these older people have in common. I just find it interesting, even people who are not 100 yet but live well (still active, mostly healthy) who are older, like late 80s - 90s.

My great-grandmother (maternal) lived to nearly 100. She was maybe 4 months shy of 100 when she passed.

My great-aunt (paternal) was the same - passed away at 99, almost 100 years old.

I started thinking yesterday about how they lived, ate, and what might have helped their longevity.

I didn't know my g-gma very well at all, but I know that at least in her later years she ate very little, by choice. She was always thin her whole life, from the pictures I've seen. She was always very involved in church. She lived alone for most of her life after her children left (her husband had passed a long time ago). Family and friends saw her regularly.

My g-aunt I knew better, especially in the last 6 - 8 years of her life since she moved right next door to us where we were living at the time. She was never thin really, just looked sort of "sturdy" or somewhat large-boned with a little extra weight on her, even through her elder years. She'd never married.

She always had her own garden. Her everyday foods were meat, potatoes, other veggies (often her own home-canned), homemade breads (she always made her own breads and desserts) with homemade jams and jellies, and usually some pie or other dessert she'd made, usually with fresh or canned pumpkin, squash, berries, or other fruit she'd grown or someone gave her.

So lots of homemade foods. I don't know if she ever ate store-bought bread, maybe at times. Same with sweets, almost always her own homemade with flour, real sugar, etc. She had simple foods - "meat and potatoes" type of meals as I said, prepared and seasoned simply, and they tasted wonderful. She did have a sweet tooth, and maybe that's partly why she was never thin, but she was overall healthy in spite of it.

Though she had her wheat breads and white sugar, rice would have only been used in rice pudding. No spaghetti or any pasta unless she made her own egg noodles. I think she used real butter. Of course, she had her chickens for a long time and had those eggs.

She had instant black coffee every morning and during the day. At night, at least in the cold months, she'd have a cup of hot cocoa (the instant stuff in packets). Other than that, I think she just drank water, maybe some juice. She had fruit and berries - usually in the form of some cobbler or pie or something, or just sweetened with a little sugar. She cooked in cast-iron and stainless steel pots and pans.

Her main health concern as she grew older was allergies, for which she took Benadryl. She had a little arthritis for which she took Tylenol or aspirin, and I remember later on, her veins in her legs were bothering her in some way - I think burning or pain or numbness, can't quite remember, but she didn't have the surgery for it that they wanted her to. Her hearing was always bad.

She stayed very active around the house, kept up on the news by TV, newspaper, magazines, did word puzzles, knitted & crotcheted (until she couldn't see too well). Had family around to check on her, attended family get-togethers for holidays and bdays. Always had a dog around to keep her company too.
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MAINTENANCE since 11/12/11, & have lost more weight. I shake things up all the time with my version of Pirate Jenny's MUDDD, my "Fast 5" & other IF. ...low-moderate fat....and eating "healthy" foods 75+% of the time which lets me have real life and indulgences too I've reached my goals, improved my health & appearance, and enjoy my lifetime woe!

Last edited by sophiethecat; 02-09-2012 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:54 AM   #2
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My great grands (mothers father's side) both lived well into their 90s.
My grandmother (mothers side) is in her mid 80s now and probably in better physical condition than she has been in decades. But she eats meals like a bird and eats a lot of sweets! lol. She's not real physically active the last 2-3 years because she has narrowing/thinning of the lower spine (age and genetic), but she's a social butterfly at the senior center and has social events almost daily to keep her mind stimulated. And she's a bingo champ lol.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:14 AM   #3
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my mother is 97--most of her siblings lived into their 90's. Hope I got her genes!
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:27 AM   #4
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My grandmother just turned 95. She is still very active and while a little forgetful, still mostly sharp. She loves Foxnews and politics. LOL She danced at her birthday party. She fell and broke her hip in her late 60's early 70's and had to have it redone in her 80's because she outlived the replacement. LOL She fell a few years ago and broke her tibia--they just extended the rod in her leg and she was up and around in a couple of months. She does use a walker now because she is more wobbly, and if she breaks it again, there just isn't enough left to fix.

She's tiny now--and has always been moderate weight. Gained during menopause, but then slimmed down again.

She's a total junk-food junky. Loves chocolate, ice-cream, chips and dip, etc. Danish for breakfast. But she eats like a bird. She does have 'real food' too. She's lived with us/my mom since I was in high school (not really because she needed to, but more simply because she was asked and said yes). And wasn't that into junk food then. She ate what we ate. Has never smoked, not much of a drinker, but does enjoy a glass of wine or 'high ball' now and then.

She takes no medications except tylenol to manage any pain she might have in her leg.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:46 AM   #5
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Not in my immediate family but a cousin by marriage lived to late 90's as did all of her family. Must have been genetics. She was tall and made all of her own clothes even into her late 80's so they would fit. She walked to visit her older sister who lived about 6 miles from her. Not sure about diet but she was never overweight and neither were her sisters. tall big boned girls that exercised (walking) for many years. She could have easily driven to see her sister. When I last saw her in her mid 80's she looked to be around 65- certainly no older than that. Her husband owned the local feedstore and she did not work a job but was very busy with community and church work. My family does not have those long lived genes. I figure I have about 1-12 more years at the most based on my parents and grandparents life spans. Now that sounds kind of depressing. Why am I worrying about my diet and losing weight?
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:24 AM   #6
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My father's father died in an accident, so that doesn't apply.

Father's mother lived to 93. She was 1/4 Blackfoot Indian and lived mostly off the land. She had a small house with some land and kept a ram, rabbits, chickens: the ram was for wool which she would then spin and weave on a loom. When she worked for money, it was selling her weaving or teaching others to weave. The rabbits and chickens were for food. She grew berries and made delicious home-made pies from scratch. She never drove and lived a couple miles uphill from the closest store, so if nobody was available to drive her, she'd walk and have to lug all her groceries up the hill. She lived very simply. When she was 88, I believe, she fell and broke her hip while carrying jugs of water out to water her blackberries. She was not found for 8 hours. She recovered fully and returned to living alone. A couple years later, she had a tumor on her spine and it took many consultations to find a surgeon willing to do surgery on someone so old. Again, she survived and returned to living alone. A year or so later, she had a double mastectomy. It was harder to recover, but she did. She was large boned and very sturdy, but not overweight.

Mother's mother lived to 89. She was short, but stocky, a bit pudgy. She lived a bit more extravagantly. She came from money and was a world traveler. She enjoyed hamburgers and fires and chocolate shakes, ice cream, cookies, well you get the picture. She had hypertension, blood clots in her legs, and eventually very severe dementia. Despite that, she was always very active, loved to work in her garden, and walked quite a bit.

Mother's father lived to 87 I think. He was very health-conscious and active. He participated in a number of senior race-walking competitions in his 70's and 80's. He worked every day right up until the day he died--at work. He was always thin and in good health. He did drink, but I don't believe to excess. On a side note, he was a bit of a ladies man and married/divorced a couple of times.

My mother passed at 54. She was morbidly obese, sedentary, suffered from depression, OCD, and alcoholism.

Father's still alive, 65, very active and fit.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:57 AM   #7
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very much enjoyed read here

The women in my family live to be in mid 90's.
My mothers grandmother that lived to be 96, chewed her food 100 times, each bite. No kidding. She ( Great Grandmother Effie) was always the last to leave the dinner table. I can stills see her.
She to was tall maybe 5' 8-9". Big boned, not fat just study looking.
She was mostly well until she fell and broke her hip. Stayed in bed a lot the last year. Also she had poor hearing was forever that I remember.
My dads mother, Alice lived to be almost 90.
She was a work horse. Very loving and caring person. I'm so lucky to of had her
In my life. After my grandpa died young 72. She lived by herself, we lived only few miles away some us.
She never just set, like I do. She was always doing something. Gardening, canning, sewing. Never just rest, again like I do. Ha.
Sad she started getting Alzheimer's in her early 80's.
It was very had to see her decline. She finally had to be in a nursing home, which killed us all. We all tried to have her live with all of us at different times. Had home nursing come to her home, so as to keep her happy in her own home.
Toward the end finally stopped working. She would lock the uses out tof the house. She would turn off the hot water tank. So when the nurse came, if she got in the house! There would be no hot water, So my grandmother wouldn't have to take a bath. She was a real fun person, even when she was declining. The things she'd come up with. I loved her sooo much. and still think of her almost every day. She's been gone for almost ten years. but she lives on in all of us. there is something Mom did that I wondered if it caused her brain to shrink early. Every night before bed she would put Vick vapor rub in her nose. RAIN or shine she did it.
When i smell at times on someone. it it brings back good memorys. Smile. Ei
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