centenarians

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News, discoveries and fun ...
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News, discoveries and fun ...
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If you're like my wife, you may resist the notion of taking advantage of a senior discount. We're at a tender age, and she's not keen for people to think she's older than she really is.
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Yes, there's a Guinness World Record for nearly everything, from " longest eyeball pop" (don't try this) to " biggest bagel" (don't eat this). But our previous favorite, " oldest wing walker" (92-year-old Thomas Lackey in 2012) has just been replaced: the Regency Jewish Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Franklin Township, N.J., has hosted the largest single gathering of centenarians, 40 strong, beating the previous record of 28.
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OK, so  Jeralean Talley of Inkster, Mich., who was born on May 23, 1899, isn't quite the oldest person in the world - that distinction belongs to Jiromon Kimura, a Japanese man who turned 116 in April.
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If you're a woman with 100 or more candles on your birthday cake, the 2010 Census says you're probably white and living in the South.
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Besse Brown Cooper, who  passed away at age 116 on Dec. 4 in Georgia, was remarkable not just because she was the oldest person on the planet, but because she was for long one of the healthiest.
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Reading Dan Buettner's New York Times story, "The Island Where People Forget to Die" made me want to move to Ikaria, Greece, immediately. This is an island where an unusually large percentage of people live past 100 because they get ample amounts of sleep, sex, socializing, spirituality, spinach, and sourdough bread. And they drink several glasses of red wine each day. Basically, party animals who don't sit still much, but pray and take a lot of naps.
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Those who have lived to be 100 have some advice for you young whipper-snappers in your 50s who want to reach the century mark: Sleep longer and eat a more healthful diet.
When we think of philanthropy, it's usually as something that high-profile corporate moguls do with the spare millions (or billions) that they don't spend on mansions, yachts and private jets. We tend to overlook another, less common but even more inspiring category of givers: ordinary middle-class or working-class wage-earners who quietly amass sizable fortunes by practicing extreme frugality, and then, after their passing, shock some college or charitable cause with a seven-figure bequest. In Tennessee, for example, folks are probably still shaking their heads in wonderment about the Rev. Vertrue Sharp, a humble minister-turned-farmer who balked at paying 75 cents for coffee at a local diner, but upon his death in 1999 at age 94 left most of his $2 million estate to local hospitals and other charities. And in Minnesota, a humble Polish immigrant handyman named Joe Temeczko, who died in 2001 at the age of 86, left $1.4 million in his will to help New York City rebuild from the 9/11 attacks.
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