Centenarians - Living a longer life

Centenarians – How To Live Longer

A centenarian is a person who has reached the age of 100 years. Because life expectancies worldwide are below 100 years, the term is usually associated with longevity. In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide. Jason Prall, director of The Longevity Project, traveled to nine countries and three continents, interviewing some of the world’s healthiest centenarians. He explored what it takes to live past 100 years old and whether it’s possible to reach that age while maintaining peak health. In this article we’ll explore some of his findings and recommendations for how to live longer.

How Centenarians Live Longer

Below were some of the key findings from Jason Prall’s research:

  • The healthiest centenarians lived simple lives, following farm-to-table diets, frequently interacting with their communities and exercising by biking or walking long distances to work each day
  • Populations with healthy centenarians do not appear to have many of the chronic conditions seen in Western culture. These conditions have only appeared recently, as Western influences like fast food and new technologies crept into their communities.
  • Research demonstrates how adults who live to 90 or 100 have learned to balance these somewhat contradictory traits. In order to flourish, they have to be able to accept and recover from the things they can’t change, but also fight for the things they can.
  • The oldest adults had other qualities in common as well, including positivity, a strong work ethic and close bonds with family, religion and the countryside. Most of the older adults in the study were still active, working regularly in their homes and on their land. This gave them a purpose in life.

9 Key Factor For Living Longer

Below are nine key factors that can help us living longer:

  1. Physical activitya National Institutes of Health study reports that just 2.5 hours of moderate activity a week could extend your life by 3.4 years.
  2. Being proactive with health – have regular check ups and take an active role in your wellness.
  3. Don’t over eat – eating to live rather than living to eat is a good motto to live by. Eating the right portions that give you the necessary calories in the different categories of food is important.
  4. Good genes – however, genes can be over ridden by utilizing all of the other healthy habits.
  5. Eat healthy food – maintaining a good diet is an important factor for living longer.
  6. Feel connected – social isolation and loneliness have been identified as having a higher mortality rate than obesity and alcoholism
  7. Feel respected – feeling respected and valued has a positive impact on emotional health.
  8. Have purpose – Orchard engagement staff provide many opportunities for the residents to be involved in purposeful activities.
  9. Stay positive – a positive outlook on life will help keep stress levels low.

Additionally, studies have also called out the below key points:

  1. In areas with higher-than-usual concentrations of centenarians, seniors are often an integrated part of their community. For many, church provides that connection. Religion encourages its believers to carve time during the week to go to church, which is not only a chance to strengthen their connection to God, but to mingle with family and friends. If you do not have, or are not interested in a faith community, find a community that works for you.
  2. Being outdoors provides added vitamin D from sunshine as well as encouraging you to be active and interactive. Being outside can also promote a positive outlook on life.

Our Approach

Orchard at Brookhaven is a senior living community in Atlanta that is dedicated to promoting healthy living. Some ares we focus on include;

  • Healthy diets
  • Opportunities to stay connected
  • Purposeful activities
  • Beautiful gardens and walking paths
  • Brain health classes
  • A variety of exercise classes
  • Outings and social events
  • Worship services

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour of our community.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

With the coming of a New Year we often take this time to think of ways that we can improve our life. Orchard Senior Living would like to help 2019 be a great year.

Taking Stock

A new year is a good time to take stock in what we like, and what we would like to change about how we live. What is important to know is that change begins with our self and our happiness in life cannot be dependent upon someone else. To base our happiness on another person sets both people up for failure.

Making A Positive Change

When trying to make positive changes in life, it is good to take a look at what can be changed. Some of these are more concrete than others.

  • Thoughts – adjusting thoughts to ones that are positive reduces stress and allows for more creative thinking.
  • Actions – actions can create stress or opportunities for connection.
    • Smiling can actually life your mood, lower stress and boost your immune system.
    • Sitting close to one another, touching or giving hugs releases oxytocin into the blood stream and reduces stress.
  • Language – shapes how you see things and focuses your attention. What are the words that you use when talking about your situation?
  • Perspective – taking a positive perspective changes a situation into seeing what is possible.
  • Focus – what we focus on will become our experience
  • Environment – is the environment welcoming, familiar, is it functional, is it forgiving if mistakes are made? Does the environment help someone feel as if they belong?
  • Support – what kind of support is being offered and is it welcomed and or needed?
  • Time – what happens throughout the day? Are there moments for joy and rest, is the day structured and does it have opportunities for success?

When someone is aging, or living with a chronic condition like Heart Disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or other dementias there are some things that can change and others that we have no control over. These things that we have less control over include:

  • The changes that are occurring in the body and brain.
  • The progression of the disease.
  • The skills that a person has.The amount of time that it takes for a person to respond, understand and or do something.
  • Social history
  • Personality traits
  • Likes and dislikes

Some of the things that can be changed and that can make a big difference in the person’s life and the life of their care partner includes:

  • Care partner’s knowledge
  • Care partner’s skill
  • Type of support – doing with and not to
  • Assessing environment – is it the right fit?
  • Paying attention to how time is spent – what is the structure of my day?

Therefore, if we want to help a person, we must take a look at what we can do to make the necessary changes so that they will be able to live a full and joyful life. This holds true for our life as well. If we have a healthy body and brain, the one thing that we can do is make the changes that we want to see in our life and realize that we hold the key to our own happiness. Orchard at Brookhaven is a community resource and wants to help you find solutions for your family. Our luxury senior living is opening soon and wants to support you in your goals for health and wellbeing in 2019. Please contact us for more information.