Here's a picture of my Oma on her 100th birthday party a few weeks ago. She's the one with the corsage. She's with Colby and Tante Olga, her 95 year old sister who still lives on her own in an apartment.
Going to her birthday party got me thinking about why she's lasted so long and is still in fairly good shape and here's what I came up with.
1. Be curious (i.e. nosy) - people who are wrapped up in their own lives at some point lose interest, because there's only so much you can do yourself at 98 or 99. But there's always something interesting going on around you, so if you're aware and interested that'll keep you going.
2. Eat well -Oma was a great cook and in later years as she ate less she still paid attention to what she ate and had a very balanced diet - a little protein, a little fruit, a little vegetables and of course, a little desert.
3. Don't complain - Oma's never been one of those people who talks about her aches and pains, she always just seems to go with the flow, never makes a big deal of anything and even when she's been sick and in the hospital she's been more bewildered than bitter.
4. Move out of your house before you need to - Oma and Opa moved to the "old folks home" back when she was about 70. At the time they were able to get a small 1 bedroom apartment and she was able to stay there until a few years ago when she moved into the personal care home side. Making the adjustment at that age was so much easier than for some of her other relatives who had to move out of their homes in their 80's due to poor health.