Friday, September 21, 2012

Centenarian's: A Celebration and Retrospective

A centenarian is a person who lives to or beyond the age of 100 years. Because current average life expectancy is less than 100, the term is associated with longevity.  The United States currently has the greatest number of known centenarians of any nation, estimated at 70,490 (as of September 2010).  This corresponds to one centenarian per 4,400 people, nationally.

In many countries, people receive a gift or congratulations on their 100th birthday. In the United States, centenarians traditionally receive a letter from the President congratulating them for their longevity.  Niagara County has identified approximately 50 centenarians who will be invited to one of several celebrations that will be taking place around the county during October and November 2012.

According to Glenda Reardon, Registered Dietician and Nutrition Coordinator for Niagara County Office for the Aging, “The public is welcome to help celebrate the 100 plus year olds in Niagara County.  The Niagara County Office for the Aging supports the nutrition needs of older adults and it is always amazing to me to see how good nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and supportive family and community contribute to the successful aging of older adults.”  She goes on to say, “We have 50 people that have been identified in Niagara County that will celebrate reaching the 100 year milestone.  If any other Niagara County residents have reached age 100 or more and did not receive an invitation, I hope they will contact me so we can include them in the celebration.”

Several lunchtime events have been scheduled at various locations across the county.

October 1, 2012 –             Tuscarora Nation House
                                                 5226 Walmore Rd.
                                                Lewiston, NY

October 2, 2012 -              Lewiston Senior Center
                                                4261 Lower River Rd.
                                                Youngstown, NY

October 3, 2012 -              The Dale Association
                                                33 Ontario St.
                                                Lockport, NY  14094

November 1, 2012 -        North Tonawanda Senior Center
                                                110 Goundry St.
                                                North Tonawanda, NY 

November 8, 2012 -        John Dukes Senior Center
                                                1201 Hyde Park Blvd.
                                                Niagara Falls, NY 

At each site, a special program and presentation of a proclamation will take place from 11:30am – noon.  Lunch will be served at 12:00.  Various representatives will be on hand to commemorate the individuals in attendance.  Transportation is available, if needed.  Advance reservations are needed and can be made by calling Glenda Reardon, Niagara County Office for the Aging Registered Dietician and Nutrition Coordinator at 438-4030.

Many things have happened in the last 100 years that have helped shape the lives of generations since then.  100 years ago:

*People lived a much shorter life; average life expectancy in US was approximately 51 years.

*The car began to change the way people live.  Ford’s Model T was being mass produced.

*The first electric self starter for automobiles was introduced; it was no longer necessary to crank start the car.

*Women were not yet allowed to vote.

*The radio started becoming a major communication tool.  The Titanic would be the first ship to send a radio SOS before it sank in April 1912.

*Purer food and safer drug laws began making life healthier for everybody. 

*United States Public Health Service is established.

*Zippers in clothing first appeared.

What a difference 100 years makes.  It would be interesting to know what the guests of honor and their families remember and like to reminisce about.

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