Centenarians represent 0.02% of the U.S. population. What are the odds that one assisted living community is home to five centenarian residents? One special community can tell that story.
Community Boasts 5 Residents Over the Age of 100
Westhills South Assisted Living in Rapid City, South Dakota, has a remarkable story to share – it is now home to five residents all over the age of 100.
According to an article in the Rapid City Journal, for the first time in its history, five centenarian women call the senior living community home – an impressive feat, considering one third of centenarians in the U.S. live at home and not in assisted living.
Brenda Bartholomew, RN, is the Assisted Living Director at the community, and states that all of the women range from ages 100-103, and are “healthy and independent enough to live on her own, although with some assistance.”
Advice to Living to 100
The Westhills South senior living community has been fortunate enough to gain some insight about living to 100 from its centenarian residents during their time there, according to the article.
Bartholomew says: “These ladies have three things in common: They all love life. They’re all gracious and grateful for what they have. And they all talk about how blessed they are.”
But what advice do the centenarians offer about living to 100? Each resident shares theirs advice about living a long life below:
1. Vera Stahl, 103: “I never drank or smoked, and I tried to eat right.”
Stahl reportedly still exercises and plays Bingo often.
2. Jeanette Blomstrom, 101: “My son Mike told me this morning, ‘Mom, you had five boys to raise. You didn’t have time to die.’ I think that’s about right,” Blomstrom says.
Blomstrom also advises younger generations to recognize that, “Life is good,” and that “Everyone can be happy if they choose to be.”
3. Irene Belzer, 100: “Pray, pray, pray and go to church.”
Belzer is said to be a skilled pianist who goes to church and still eats McDonald’s each week.
4. Louis “Tiny” Lawrence, 100: “I just haven’t died,” Lawrence says.
Lawrence is self-reliant and is said to maintain a sense of humor and enthusiasm about everything she does. She enjoys car rides with family each week.
5. Marianna Williams, 100: “Believe in God. Say your prayers. Be good. Help others. Read much. Get your rest. Eat lots of desserts.”
Williams reads and works on crossword puzzles each day, and is said to have eyesight still good enough to not wear glasses. She credits her inheritance of good genes to living to 100 – her mother reportedly lived to be 106.
Photo credit: Eric Ginnard, Rapid City Journal.
What We Can Learn from Centenarians
There are many things that we can learn from centenarians and their lives.
In addition to the advice the centenarians offered above, The Georgia Centenarian Study says: “good health habits, high levels of cognition and a strong social support system are three key factors to longevity in life.”
The study also stated that, “20-25% of centenarians are community-dwelling, cognitively intact, and generally vibrant and full of life.” The study accompanies A Place for Mom’s research, which found that most happy and healthy centenarians in the U.S. were living in the states of: Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island and South Dakota.
If you or a loved one are looking for assisted living in these states, AssistedLiving.com has more than 200 Senior Living Advisors who have in-depth knowledge of the communities in their area, and can send you a list of communities that meet your family’s needs. Contact us to get started.