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terça-feira, 29 de junho de 2010

What the 100 year can teach us...

Achei esta reportagem muito inspiradora...

Those who hit the 100-year milestone don't just have longer lives. They have lives freer of medical problems and financial worries, even though many aren't well-off.

When 100-somethings make the news, it's usually in the human-interest pages. Last year, Emma Hendrickson, 101, became the oldest person ever to compete in the U.S. Bowling Congress Women's Championships, rolling a 318 series in Reno, Nev. Harriet Ames, 100, of Concord, N.H., received her bachelor's degree in January, then died the next day.

We'll likely hear many more such stories in the coming years, because the cohort of centenarians -- people who have reached 100 years of age -- is one of the fastest-growing groups in the U.S. The population of triple-digit Americans zoomed from about 37,000 in 1990 to more than 84,000 in 2008 and is expected to reach 580,000 by 2040, according to the Census Bureau.

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We can learn a lot from those who have already reached 100, because when it comes to independence, money and health, centenarians stand apart from younger seniors.

As a group, 100-year-olds aren't 80-year-olds who have tacked on 20 years of physical and mental decline. Instead, centenarians typically don't suffer the chronic illnesses associated with age -- such as Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular trouble or diabetes -- until shortly before dying. In fact, they often escape these maladies altogether, according to studies of centenarians in Georgia and New England.

Of people who make it to 100, more than 90% were physically and mentally healthy into their 90s, and about half still live either on their own or with families.

"Centenarians disprove the perception that 'the older you get, the sicker you get,'" says Thomas Perls, an associate professor of geriatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine and the director of the New England Centenarian Study. "They teach us that the older you get, the healthier you've been."

A study of 100-somethings recently published in Gerontology focused on congruence, a psychological term for the harmony we feel when the various areas of our lives, including our motivations and achievements, are in balance. It concluded that satisfaction in a centenarian's early life influences how that individual views his or her health and economic well-being and is directly associated with current happiness.

Fonte: SmartMoney

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