Who wants to live to be 100?


Real cool grandpa I met in New Mexico/Photo studio photo

Unless we happen to be Michael Jackson or those 20-something kids who keep killing themselves with drugs, people are living longer than ever before.

Folks are increasingly hitting age 100. Age 40 may be the new 20, while folks in their 60s can still be considered youngish. After all, they may have four more decades of living to do.

By the year 2030, one in eight folks across the globe will be age 65 or older, according to an article in Senior Journal. Because Tucson is a popular retirement area, our regional totals may be even higher.

This prediction will only hold true, of course, if the world doesn’t blow up like it’s supposed to in 2012.

While living forever – or at least to age 100 – may seem like a good thing, there may be some drawbacks.

“Population aging strains social insurance and pension systems and challenges existing models of social support. It affects economic growth, trade, migration, disease patterns and prevalence, and fundamental assumptions about growing older,” the Senior Journal article says.

We’ll also have to start worrying about the Earth instead of using that standard line: “Who cares what happens, I’ll be dead by then.”

But the biggest fear may be how to fund retirement – or even being able to retire. Social Security is pretty much a joke, although it’s none too funny when it sucks away a chunk of our paychecks.

A recent announcement from the folks who run Tucson’s exclusive, upscale Splendido senior community, goes on and on about how growing old is a great thing.

Sure it is, if you can afford to go live there. Prices were not listed on their website, but they did showcase a few living units, some of which are twice the size of my house.

The company, Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, also pointed out some trends for 2010:

Scientific breakthroughs will demonstrate that healthy lifestyles can actually repair DNA by boosting a key enzyme – telomerase – that is vital for improving the body’s immune responses and may even increase longevity.

Translation: Healthy living makes you healthier.

The movement to more homelike environments for older adults living in long-term care communities will grow. Programs will provide care, support individuality and promote safety in a residential environment.

Translation: More kids will be sick of caring for their parents.

There will be an increased focus on positivity and its impact on happiness, health and longevity for older adults.

Translation: You WILL BE happy, dammit.

The use of technology among older adults will grow exponentially – whether this means surfing the Internet, joining social networks such as Facebook, or using technologic devices in the home to monitor their health as well as promote independence and safety.

Translation: You’re going to need a computer and you may be tracked with ankle bracelets.

Progress on extending human life will be a growing focus of researchers as more is learned about substances in our foods. One example is how resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes and in several other plants, may protect us from some life-shortening diseases such as diabetes.

Translation: You’ll be forced to eat grapes.

The best trend by far is a focus on positivity. Enough young people are nasty and cranky and, unless their nastiness and crankiness is nipped in the bud, it’s surely only going to get worse with age. On the other hand, any age can be fun with the right attitude.

Other things can even get better with age, such as knowledge, wisdom, self-awareness and self-acceptance.

But we may still have a few concerns, like we’ll end up driving into lamp posts, lose our looks or lose our minds.

But hey, that’s progress for ya.

What do you think?

Is the trend of everyone living longer a good thing?

Do you want to live to be 100?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in environment, health, life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Who wants to live to be 100?

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski-If your lifestyle can be maintained to your personal quality of life standards, longevity is great!…on the other hand, if you are on a life support machine, taking so many pharmaceuticals that you don’t know your own name, or need to have assistance to empty your bedpan regularly, who needs it. PS-I have this creepy feeling that I’m growing older everyday!?!…it’s downright insidious !…why is that ombudsryn? 😉

    • Rynski says:

      mornin’ radmax!
      i agree – growing older can be wonderful thing, as long as it doesn’t mean being crammed in a nursing home to die.
      i’ve noticed i have also come to appreciate life more and more – i guess as the end gets nearer and nearer – which happens daily, as you pointed out.
      as pink floyd says:
      So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
      Racing around to come up behind you again.
      The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
      Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

      Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
      Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
      Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
      The time is gone, the song is over,
      Thought I’d something more to say.

      hope that answers your question….

      • radmax says:

        Time-great tune, I’ve noticed over time, irritates me at times, a bit overplayed. 😉
        I’m feelin’ damn good these days, probably has something to do with my daughter and lady, they make everyday a little brighter…even days like this.
        Which reminds me that life is much more enjoyable if you have someone to share it with.

      • Rynski says:

        wholly agreed that life is best enhanced  by some fine company (and some damn good dogs – hahah).

        also wholly agreed that song can be overplayed – which is why my radio station of choice is classical music in the background – but even they can play the same beethoven to death…

      • radmax says:

        I know what you mean. Good classical(Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Rynski Korsikov… 🙂 )is at times a salve for the soul, and some pieces I find sound like music for madmen…

  2. Jennatoolz says:

    Good morning Ryn! Great blogski today…gave me a lot of laughs! I look forward to eating a lot of grapes when I’m 100 years old…so long as they aren’t in their raisin form (yuck!). I fear that I’ll lose my mind, though! Sometimes I feel as though I already have! It’s only going to get worse..haha. Only time will tell…right?!

    • Rynski says:

      heya jenna!
      glad you enjoyed today’s blogski!
      grapes are awesome, i agree – raisins have their limited place, but i’m not a fan of them straight up. mix them with a cinnamon bagel and you’re on.
      i agree, too, that losing my mind could be a fear – and i was going to select that answer – but then i realized if you do, in fact, lose your mind you wouldn’t know it so it wouldn’t matter, no?
      i picked cat food – but only because i forgot to put the option “my tattoos will fade” -hahahhahah.
      i HATE when people look at tats and say: “oh! that’s going to look AWFUL when you’re all old and wrinkly….”

      • Jennatoolz says:

        I get that a lot about the tattoo on my side, haha. Makes me wonder how it really will look in the future…should be interesting! No matter, I’ll still be proud of my faded tattoo’s! 😀

      • Rynski says:

        me, too! and there’s ALWAYS touch ups – so those naysayers can just go back to bothering someone else, i say – hahaha

  3. leftfield says:

    I look forward to holding up the checkout line by carefully scanning each item for mistakes, demanding to know “where is my senior discount?” and being completely befuddled by the electronic card swiper.   I plan to get a walking cane long before I need one so I can shake it at young people while yelling, “You kids get off my lawn” (even though I have no lawn).  I am also going to continue the tradition, one that I have started with my own child, of beginning all of my long and pointless stories with the phrase, “When I was your age…”.  Kids love stories that start that way, especially knowing that you’re going to lose your train of thought about halfway through and begin debating with yourself about whether so-and-so died in 2020 or 2021. 

    I am really looking forward to it!  Of course, this will only be fun if I still have the capacity to enjoy the joke.

    • radmax says:

      “When I was your age…”. Haha! Can’t wait for that one myself; tellin’ the grand kids all about how I helped build the pyramids…invented the wheel…brought about the renaissance…

    • Rynski says:

      ooooh – those are FABULOUS things to look forward to, leftfield – hahaha.
      yes, the checkout line delays. those can be like whole skits if done right.
      i already have a walking cane/stick – it just happens to have a giant skull on top of it. and instead of shaking the stick, i’ll come outside with a shotgun in housedress – hahahah.

  4. Carolyn Classen says:

    Hi Ryn, one of my aunts back in Hawaii lived to 101 years, and died in November, 2008.  She had a few health problems at the end but could still walk a bit, and one of her daughters took care of her in her own home till she died.  She was the oldest relative in our family, both sides.  It’s okay to live that long as long as your mind is okay…

    • Rynski says:

      hey carolyn,
      i LOVE it! that’s wonderful your aunt lived to 101. probably all that fine hawaiian atmosphere helped. that’s good to know you have longevity in your family, too.
      my family genes are blessed with really good skin.

      • Carolyn Classen says:

        Hawaiians do tend to live longer than the rest of Americans, probably due to the warm climate and pleasant living conditions.  Her husband (my uncle) lived to 94, and his mother (my grandmother) lived to 97.

      • Rynski says:

        if milk didn’t cost $900 gallon (as i heard), i’d be living in hawaii, too – haha

      • Carolyn Classen says:

        A gallon of milk costs over $6 in Hawaii.  Yes, and so does a box of cereal.  Bread is less at $4/loaf.  Granted it is difficult to survive in Hawaii with those food prices, but the people there do say “Lucky you live Hawaii” for lots of other reasons…great weather and free fruit.

      • Rynski says:

        free fruit?
        heck with the milk, then – i’m in!!!!

  5. andrew says:

    We make Gramma do the dishes, walk out and get the mail and cook for us after she does the laundry. She’s 89 and still kickin’ and these tasks keep her active instead of laying in bed nursing that hip implant.
    lawsuit dna is the captcha

    • Rynski says:

      yes!!! another fine example of growing old with grace and aplomb.
      love it!
      lawsuit dna – hahahah. it also coincides with one of the trends i did not include but mentions dna:
      “Significant advances in treatments for diseases including cancer will take place through genetic research efforts that are preventing DNA mutations.”
      wheee. anything that mentions “mutations” – whether it’s preventing or causing them – always makes me excited.

  6. Bobby G says:

    Who wants to live to 100?  Someone that is 99!

  7. azmouse says:

    Back when I was a young Mom (no Sebastian yet, and Sara was two and Wesley about 6 months old)  some Jehovah Witnesses came knocking on my door on a particularly trying day. They asked me what I thought about living forever in a paradise on Earth.
    I just looked at them and started crying as I told them, ” I want to get old so I can sleep!! I just need rest!”
    Having two little kids less than two years apart, the only thing I had to look forward to was old age and death and they wanted to promise me eternal youth and living forever! LOL

    • Rynski says:

      ha! that’s too funny, azmouse!
      i bet they were flabbergasted! maybe if they promised eternal youth, living forever – and a babysitter! – it would have been a sweeter deal – hahahha.

  8. tiponeill says:

    I’ve decided that it isn’t that bad, considering the alternative.

  9. andrew says:

    Studies imply that old folks are grumpy because they are in pain, take away the pain and they are fine, outstanding people who really enjoy being old.
    lapsed johnson

  10. Karen Nelson says:

    I am an active person, so I don’t look forward to not being able to do the things I love… I look at pictures of old people when they were young and am shocked at how different they look… and how beautiful they were… Age better dang well give me some awesome wisdom and powers if it is going to rob me of looks and physical abilities… But my main concern is being old and alone…

    • Rynski says:

      hahah! i don’t think you’ll be robbed of looks and physical abilities – you stay fit, EAT WELL, keep active – and you got a beau, so the alone part is out, also.
      yoga is a great age defy-er. i’ve seen folks at yoga retreats in their 70s who are more vibrant and move around better than other folks i know in their 30s. besides, as the instructor liked to remind us:
      “backbends keep you young.”
      now you have to change your answer on poll to ‘no worries’  -haha

  11. Ferraribubba says:

    I turned 73 last December, and now for once in my life, I’m satisfied with how it’s going for me.
    Granted I can’t SCUBA dive anymore, or climb mountains, or race cars, or chase women, or live life on the extreme edge, but now I’m satisfied with who I am and what (if anything, really) I have accomplished in life.
    I’ve done a million things wrong over the years, and I have tried to make amends to those that I have been able to reach. To those who I haven’t,  I’m sorry just the same. I really am.
    But in my later years, God has given my mind a new clarity, a new purpose in life. I have been able to shed all those petty things that distracted me from achieving my true potential. But alas, 30 years too late. One of the cruel little tricks that nature played on me. <g>
    I’m just happy that, whever, I finally got it right (I think) and I can spend my remaining years looking in the mirror without hating the person who I see staring back at me. I’ve never been happier and more content.
    Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

  12. mорское says:

    if i am still physically capable …….. if not, then let’s go out early, hard and in a fight.

  13. People says:

     I’m worried about my energy.  I love to do high-jumps, and hop mini-hurdles on my own bared feet. but I’m sad to the fact that I will lose my energy.  I remember when I was little, I wanted to live to 100 years old, but now, I’m a bit wary on that idea.
                   -Fellow Person in your Neighborhood,
                                                                                          People (aka Natalie)

    • Rynski says:

      thanks for input, people.
      yeah, losing athletic ability and energy could be crummy side effect. i think a key may be accepting the limits instead of fighting them…and finding other aspects of life to enjoy.

    • azmouse says:

      I don’t know…my Mom is seventy, works out five days a week, with kick boxing every saturday. She has so much energy, she’s a spazz! I’m active and she leaves me in her dust.

  14. There are exceptions, but living into extreme old age can be boring; I know this because my father (101) & his sister (105) told me.   I believe they were telling the truth – same old, same old.  Both of them took their best pleasure from their nightcaps (cognac).   How I miss them.

    • Rynski says:

      awww, thanks for input, terese. 101 and 105 are some fine old ages!
      i miss my dearly departed grandparents, too. esp. one that died suddenly in his 60s.
      their nighcaps should have livened things up a bit, no?

  15. Gail says:

    Love to live to 100 –only if I have good health.

    There will always be things to do and see!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s