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I wish I knew the secret. I suspect a lot is heredity.


Is this unreal or what? Recently, my mom ran into a family friend at a bridal shower. The friend is 93 years old. She told mom that she drove herself there and that she also drives herself to church on Sundays and Bible Study luncheon on Wednesdays. ( She has always been very conservative, like my parents.) She then leaned in and whispered to my mom that she also goes to the Elk Lodge dance every Saturday night! My mom gasped and she said, not to worry. That she had discussed it with the reverend and he said there was no problem with her dancing. lol


Note: There doesn't seem to be an problem with her driving. She also runs her own household, gets her own groceries and drives herself to the doctor. Go figure.

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Secret to long life ? I know it ISNT to bring a narc mom to live with you in HER old age. its only been a year and a half yet Im sure the stress I have been under has cut years probably from my life. If she dosent give me a heart attack before she gets her apartment it will be a miracle.
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B12 deficiency really does mimic dementia too. I was angry when my Mom was in the nursing home cause they wouldn't allow me to give her supplements and what they considered adequate B12 in her blood work wasn't enough and she became very scattered in her mind again.
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According to my endocrinologist, we have a vitamin D epidemic in the US thanks to the sunscreen industry who has made so many people afraid of the sun.

I was found to be Vit D defficient 10 year ago. That led to my body not absorbing the calcium needed to make bone and thus at 48 had developed osteoporosis. The other problem was very low testosterone due to an inactive pituritory gland concerning that. In men, testosterone provides the cement in building the bones from the calcium.

They have to check my red blood count for that is dangerous and comes from too much testosterone. All of this is checked by blood work every three months. I have blood work due this month.
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Shaddy, it is now protocol to check for Vit. D, almost like a fad. However, discivering that has helped me, and Vit D has no ill effects. Anyone remember when B-12 injections really helped ouf mothers feel really good during menopause? Then insurance enters picture with rules, lab must show deficiency in B-12 or you don't get any.
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jnelson, by the time it was discovered she had b12 def, damage was already done. We tried to tell her to eat better and she refused. (you could not reason with her about food) another threat to the older group is Vit D Def....
Most people don't even have that checked. It plays a huge role in health as the b12. I gave Mom injections monthly. I take b12 and vit D and a few others.
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It is eternal life, imop.
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Stay active, physically and mentally.
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Shaddy, your mother's diet of salad and white potatoes is the kind of vegetarian diet that would lead to a whopping B12 deficiency. According to WebMD,
"You can also get vitamin B12 deficiency if you're a vegan (meaning you don't eat any animal products, including meat, milk, cheese, and eggs) or a vegetarian who doesn't eat enough eggs or dairy products to meet your vitamin B12 needs.... The risk of B12 deficiency also increases with age."

We give my 95 year-old mother B12 supplements even though her doctor says she has enough B12 in her blood. There are articles that point out that just because you you have the vitamin in your bloodstream, that doesn't mean you have enough in your brain. Lack of B12 can cause a type of dementia. Bingo!
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I feel that I live and serve daily a life sentence for a crime I had no choice about committing ~ my birth. My perps are dead and my sentence has no parole for good behaviour. In this case the life sentence is truly for life.
Ok it's not all bad, I have a handful of very special people in my life and 5 gorgeous fur babies.
I've always tried to be good to others. I don't and have never drunk, I've smoked 25 cigarettes in my whole life. I don't gamble and I'd give my last penny if someone needed it. I stay mentally challenged with puzzles. I crochet for "pre-premie" babies because I once read that they were wrapped in serviettes because while garments were made for "micro-premie" babies when I started nothing for these other little ones and it broke my heart. I add a tiny toy for siblings and a heart for Mum & Dad's keyring.
But...I can't end this life until the Creative Being/God whoever say's that's it Lucy your time is up.
So live life to the full, be the best that you can but don't expect to be able to add or subract a nanno second to your allotted span.
My sincere apologies to anyone this post angers or offends that was never my intention when I wrote it. It just felt right to say it now, here at this moment.
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I do think helping others extends life too. I don't mean care giving, but helping others out or doing something for someone else, especially when you don't feel like it. One of the things I have enjoyed so far about this forum is that there have been times I've come on here having had a rough day, then find the plethora of posts where others have had it much worse. So, sometimes I post just to encourage someone else in their struggles. There's something therapeutic about giving out of the poverty of your well that's healing, builds the mental, emotional and spiritual muscles. Hopefully it helps the poster, but if not, someone else struggling may read it and benefit from it.
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Lots of interesting answers here and I believe genes help as does how we take care of ourselves. Though I'd say that's less about extending life than helping keep illness at bay.
I believe the real answers though come from those who say that when you're reason for being here is done you get to go.
If you've read my previous posts here or answers to other q's you'll know my childhood was far from easy. Simply but, and I swear I'm not exaggerating my biological "parents" & 26 of their friends abused me in every way for the first 10 years of my life. Ended up in the "care system" sadly more abuse though also the occasional angel. Pregnant at 17 after being raped at a party. Didn't know until 5 1/2 months I was pregnant. Didn't know the facts of life and thankfully it hadn't happened before. My daughter was stillborn at 6 months following an accident at work. I married a man who beat me as I didn't expect or believe I deserved better. Many miscarriages, though I brought up other people's children when they wouldn't. After 10 years husband walked out on me.
Some very dear friends had an elderly neighbour whose wife had left him after 20+ years. I felt sorry for him especially as he had terrible arthritis and worked shifts. I gave him lifts to/from work. Cooked meals was generally there as a friend. Initially he was rude, pompous and irritating and he drank 15 pints a night every night. Long story short, we became friends then the "elderly" man (19 years my senior) stopped drinking because we fell in love. We had 20 years together before we got engaged. He joked he was worried about marrying a younger woman so we planned our wedding for 13 1/2 months later just before my 51st birthday. He died suddenly 4 months to the day of our engagement. I had absolutely no desire to continue living. I sorted our affairs after his funeral and tried to take my life.
8 times from 2007 - 2012 I tried many different ways. What I did should have caused serious damage to my body if I failed to die. I researched very hard to get it right.
I am severely disabled but none of my issues relate to my attempted get out plans. I've been reliably informed by a battery of doctors on this fact. They are stunned because I should be in much worse shape than I am.
I lived in London through the IRA bombings often leaving places so close to the bombs going off I felt the aftershock, got cut by glass once. When in Israel as part of my degree the Jaffa Gate was bombed 5 minutes after I walked through it. The mini bus I was on with fellow graduates was commandeered by terrorists and we were taken to the Gaza Strip so that we could return to England and tell the truth. Spent 3 days/nights in a coma having been bitten by a scorpion while friends/family were told no one ever recovered.
I cared for my biological nightmares at the end of their lives, I care now for my widowed BIL with dementia.
I try to speak up for those who have no voice, and raise awareness of incest, child abuse, mental health issues especially MPD/DID.
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My Mom walked 2 miles daily, worked crossword puzzles, never wanted meat (until dementia)....lived on salads and baked veggies & baked potatoes without butter and sour cream. She watched her weight daily & watched my Dads. She was very healthy until her 80's & was diagnosed with b12 deficiency and it had affected the nerves in her legs.....she was diagnosed with dementia right after that......so much with living healthy. She passed at 90.
My Dad smoked unfiltered camel cigarettes for YEARS...his lungs were terrible. He worked his butt off all his life as a carpenter and a farmer. He lived to be 93.

His sister was 97 when she passed away last year....she lived by herself, drove herself to the grocery store, pharmacy and every Friday, she drove to get her hair done come heck or high water. (She secretly chewed tobacco) She moved her yard weekly, ate what ever the heck she wanted.....the day she died, she mowed her yard in the heat (July)...came in to rest & then was going back out to work some more and dropped with a stroke. She only took medication for hypertension.
Their other sister is 89.....she lives above me in the same house she was born and raised. She takes NO medication. Still works in the yard and loves to walk....eats what she wants.

So.......I think it boils down to when ever you time is up.....you are gone. I do feel genes play a big part.

My parents were married 70 years and they would tell you (if they were alive) that love kept them going. My Dad would be strong when my Mom was down & Mom would be strong when he was down...........then came that damnnastyword called dementia and everything changed. Mom couldn't be strong for him anymore and I watched him slowly give up.

I tell you all this much, I am going to do what I want to do, eat what I want to eat...go where I want to go, drink what I want to drink and enjoy my life.....when it is all said and done, dementia will probably take over and by then who gives a crabapple......you lived healthy and dementia took over your life anyway?? I want to go on to my Maker before that happens....I NEVER want my kids to go thru what I just experience with my Mom's journey..........NOPE, not gonna go there.
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Marymember: Getting off topic, but I, too, would love to met your 102 y.o aunt!
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Catgoodness: Not JUST prayer, but your gene pool. THAT IS YOUR STRONGEST ASSEST.
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Genes play a part but I believe what we eat plays a large part. Foods we buy today are sprayed with chemicals, processed and more chemicals added so a lot of what we eat is not real food but "food like". My mother is in a NH, close to 90, and has been a vegetarian for over 50 years - fruit, veggies and processed meals in a box just to heat in the microwave. She has parkinsons though there's no family history of it ... could it have been caused by ingesting all the sprays and toxic chemicals that have been sprayed on crops for years?

Until I moved into the country I had no idea just how much the crops were sprayed. Last summer the fields across the road were carrots. The farmer said "help yourself". Um, no thanks. They were always spraying them. The tanker said "water" but we had a wet summer such that I spent hours 2 or 3 times a week mowing with the tractor.

I've always been interested in homesteading and returning to a simpler lifestyle and, now in my 60s, I'm following that path on 2 acres in the middle of nowhere. Gardening some this year - beets, green beans, spinach, carrots and tomatoes. Blackberries I planted 2 years ago are fruiting now, asparagus that came with the house was steamed and frozen in the spring. Having a chicken coop and run built this fall and I'll start keeping chickens come spring ... my dogs like chicken too :) In the meantime I buy free range eggs on the next road.

Far too hot to can so I'm simmering tomatoes down to freeze for now. Bumper tomato crop - picking every day - and I've given a lot away, along with some beets. Carrots will be harvested and canned when it's cooler and I have a fall crop of beets coming in. Big pot of tomatoes simmering down and chicken bones, meat and veggie scraps in the crockpot on low for the past 24 hours to make stock. This tiny house smells wonderful.

Not the lifestyle for everyone and it's hard work but it has always been my dream. After a life time of the rat race, Bay Street and all that artificial stuff, sitting on the back deck with my critters drinking in the peace and quiet, just the sounds of nature and not another house for a mile in any direction, my soul is finally at peace..
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Great answers to a question mankind has asked since the beginning. Let us know how it all works out for you.
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Mary, what a fascinating person your 102 year old aunt must be! And determined as well. Sounds like she doesn't let anything stop her.

Thanks for sharing these insights. It's a reminder to me how much we need to keep mentally active.
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I have two living aunts...one will be 102 in March..when someone asks her the secret of living so long she replies.."I don't drink and I don't smoke. I don't run around with older men and watch out for the younger, for they can't catch me.".
She makes all her beautiful quilts by hand; she calls out answers on those quiz shows; she memorizes her airport confirmation numbers, as well as any motel confirmations numbers; she can tell you the names and birthdays of all her children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren; she has vivid memories of her past living experiences, jobs, homes, including names of bosses and and detailed information of job expectations. She worked for the same company most of her adult life. She can tell you exactly what medicines she is taking and the names of all the doctors she goes to. She walks to the hairdresser every Saturday morning. (a block)..she uses a walker mostly only outside. she lives in her own home and has for about 50 years and doesn not have 24 hour care.. but has a little home health care.

My other aunt, her sister, is 99. She has been in a nursing home for four years due to arthritis and a fall, so she can;t walk. But she was a geneologist and can tell you a lot of history, names, background, dates, etc. However, just recently, she has shown signs of mild memory loss. She would like to live on her own, but physically can't. The nursing home is clean and the staff are very kind and caring. She just wants privacy, as she has never been married and independent. marymember
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I think you can do everything in your power to stay healthy and follow all of life's good principles and still die young. And vice versa. I believe in Karma. What you do and how you treat people will come back to you tenfold.

I'd rather live a short happy life than a long sad one.
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I agree with you; good observations and insights.
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I believe having a sense of purpose, I don't think it is all predetermined. That's too fatalistic for me.

If prayer were the sole answer then monks and nuns would be outliving everyone.
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whether you believe in the Almighty or karma or whatever, each one of us has a purpose in life and the length of our life is determined the day we are born. Why does a baby die and why does someone survive a horrible accident? We are just fulfilling our purpose. sometimes we are lucky enough to see what that is and sometimes we never know. we need to believe that we are here for a reason and do our best everyday. a friend of mine became pregnant when her children were in college. she was amazed but of course welcomed the child. Several years later she discovered she had a brain tumor and died very quickly. her husband has always said that the late in life child helped him focus and get thru the tragedy. that was the purpose.
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A friend of my mother's is 95, lives alone, continues to work (she's a painter of some distinction) and is not even deaf. There's hope for us all.
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20% of our health is due to genes. 80% of our health is due to epigenetics, which is how our life style effects gene expression. We can break the cycle of "inherited" chronic ailments through life style changes. But for many people, life style changes are the hardest adjustments to make. It takes commitment to eat right, think right (includes prayer and meditation), exercise, and even socialize.
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One word prayer
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Keep having birthdays.
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Such a secret does not exist except in the idealistic seekers after an ever elusive fountain of youth which never did and does not exist.

I say this because by my junior year of college, I had reached a level of health via exercise and healthy nutrition that my dad described as semi Olympic. However, I wasn't training for anything. It was my way of dealing with stress in my life and I liked being in such good shape.

That same year I almost died from an almost fatal bicycle accident cause by a freshman not looking before he crossed the street where I was going down the hill and he stepped out from between two parked cars. My neurologist said that my pre accident health did help me, but he considered my living and living without any but the slightest degree of brain damage was a miracle. . It is a mystery to me why the very sick baby who the same group of folks who were praying for me were also praying for the baby, yet the baby died and I lived.

There are just too many variables of things that can go wrong in this fallen world.

Sometimes, we create our own bad experiences by our bad choices and poor judgement that leads us to make mistakes. Those actions are often not without some impact on others either directly or indirectly.

Likewise, somethings that happen to us are caused by the bad choices and poor judgement of others.

There are things that I consider about as pure an accident as one could be. My example is the death of my second cousin. She was doing her job of delivering the mail and suddenly dropped dead at the door when I random bullet hit her in the head and killed her instantly. Where did the bullet come from? A policeman's gun. Why was the gun fired? Because he was shooting at a criminal feeling the site of a crime. I'm sure the policeman felt bad and likely guilty, but it was not his fault. I don't believe that God caused this because God needed another angel in heaven. For one thing, people don't become angels.

Another cause of suffering and evil in the world which we in the west tend to deny comes directly from the evil one himself, Satan, who has always come to steal, kill and destroy.

So, long life is only a probability in light of things we don't have control of like heredity and other events in our lives caused by any of the four listed above, plus things we do have control of like the care we give to our bodies and minds over the years.

Also, a lot can be said for preparing for old age by the way we live now so that we have a sense of a life well lived instead of a sense of total despair. Overall, it matters more how we chose to respond to what takes place in our life than the events themselves. I often tell my young sons to seek to live well with the choices they make as they decide things and as they respond to what life throws at them. I believe that more important than just how long we live is how we are living when we reach old age.

So, I think it is better to aim at living well so that one reaches old age with a sense of contentment with one's life overall instead of seeking to just see how long one can possibly live.

Well, that's probably enough deep thought for several weeks! :)
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I agree genes are the #1 asset. After that don't fret about the length of life but the quality of it.
Celebrate every moment of life now, rather than planning on extending it. Don't put off doing things that are important to you until a better time. If they are in your head make this the time.
My late partner & I were together 20 years, he then proposed in December with a beautiful ring he designed and commissioned. Absolutely not his usual thing to do :~) Because he was 19 years older than me we decided to wait to marry until I turned 50 which would be 2 months later in Feb. So we set the date for Feb a year on just before my 51st birthday. We had such fun planning our wedding and a month long honeymoon traveling in Ireland.
He died unexpectedly in April exactly 4 months after we got engaged. That was 7 years ago and yes, I do regret that we waited. I was his wife in every way except for a piece of paper that sadly the absence of has caused my life to be very different to our plans.
So now I don't worry about a long life, just about doing what's important now.
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Heredity plays the biggest factor...Diet, activity and just generally being upbeat seems to help. My grandmothers both lived independent lives well into their 90's. Taking care of yourself, loving a lot of people and being interested in everything! Luck. Don't smoke. Sleep! Eat some chocolate every day. Just my opinion.
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Many good suggestions here. I would just add my own personal and adamant concern about the extent of processed foods proliferating in the food chain, the myriad chemicals added not only to food but to everyday items such as household furnishings and some building materaisl, the use of toxins and pesticides on crops (read up on glyphosate and see what it does), the trend toward communicating electronically instead of the positive energy shared by in person contact, the loss of self sufficiency mechanisms and tools (and I don't consider running around on a survival show self sufficiency).

Lastly, avoid listening to political candidates, especially in a pre-election year.
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