My grandaunt had lived to about 93 years old before she passed away. She had worked as a servant all her life, retiring only when she approached 70 years old. Even into her 90s, her eyes were very alert and observant. Nothing seemed to escape her attention. The only thing is that she was slightly weak on hearing so we had to talk very loud near her ears in order for her to hear us. She adopted my mom as a baby and in turn, my mom took care of her till the day she died. As a child, I was fairly inquisitive and always asked her questions- my grandaunt had loved me selflessly. I guess looking after me (we had a maid to do other household chores) and aswering my “whys” about life kept her happy and occupied. Unfortunately her condition sort of went downhill when she suffered from a fall.
But the old age folks would need to be very careful to ensure that they do not suffer a fall as being part of old age, and usually with the onset of osteoporosis, the recovery would be bad. Following a fall, the person would usually be a bit immobile and from then on, you would see that the health would deteriorate quickly- in a matter of a year or two.
Here I would like to compile some other sources from the internet that is helpful for one to live a long and healthy life:
1. Keep the mind occupied and finding purpose
In many ancient healing systems, it is believed that the centre of the soul and spirit of the being resides in the heart. Physically, our heart controls the overall function of our body- transporting oxygen, nutrients and removing toxins through its complicated network of circulatory system. Spiritually, in order for our hearts to be healthy and hearty, we need to have something to look forward for….something to live and get up every morning for. Failing that, there is no meaning and the strength of the heart slowly diminishes.
If you observe healthy old folks, their eyes are usually very alert and they can engage you in interesting debates about subjects that are close to their hearts.
Food plays a vital role and a lot of healthy seniors who live to a hundred or more usually consume a lot of fibers in the form of vegetable and fruits. A lot of helpful tips is provided by Dr Wu, who is a lung cancer survivor.
3. Being physically active
There isn’t any healthy old folks that I have seen who spent the whole day sitting on the couch or lazing around. They are usually very active, not in the gym going way. Basically they are happy spending the day completing the usual household tasks- cleaning, sweeping, sewing, etc. Any tasks, no matter how boring and mundane, so long as it is done with attention and mindfulness, would do the body good. But if while doing anything and our minds are always somewhere else, it would weaken our life and vitality as our attention had shifted outwards.
4. Laugh and smile more
A very well known person in Asia, Teresa Hsu is already 112 years old. She had gone through the ravages of war and had her fair share of tragedies in life including losing her loved ones. And yet, she dedicate her life spreading joy, love and cheer. Even at this age, she is giving talks and is involved in charity work. To quote:
Hsu also said whenever she was faced with a problem, she would try to solve it but if she could not, then she just accepted it.
To another question, she said she wasn’t born naturally caring but shared an incident that deeply affected and changed her. Her late mother once dug up potatoes to feed the family but gave away the entire pot to a starving beggar who arrived at their doorstep with a child.
“That was the day I learnt that to give what you have in your hand to others is a great blessing,” she said.
- How to live to be 101 (article in MSN)
- What 100-somethings can teach us (many live below poverty line but are free from chronic illness)
- Story of Mr Foo, my friend’s father who keeps his mind occupied and find meaning after retirement.