Search Articles

Find Attorneys

Living to 100

  • August 24th, 2018

[This article was originally published on June 20, 2006.  The links were updated on August 24, 2018.]

Local Elder Law Attorneys in Your City

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Elder Law Attorney

Firm Name
City, State

Thomas T. Perls and Margery Hutter Silver, Living to 100: Lessons in Living to Your Maximum Potential at Any Age (Basic Books, New York: 2000).

Available on Amazon.com (click book to order).

At age 101, Tom Spear won a 65-and-over golf tournament with a score of 86. Anna Morgan remained active as a grassroots organizer until her death at age 102. MIT professor Dirk Struik published an article on mathematics when he was 101.

Once considered a rarity, centenarians are now the world's fastest-growing age group. There are about 50,000 people over 100 in the United States, almost three times as many as in 1980, and by 2050 there will be close to one million centenarians, according to one estimate.

What is the secret to continuing to live a full life at the century mark? Are there lessons that these pioneers can teach the rest of us? To find out, Harvard scientists Thomas Perls and Margery Hutter Silver launched the New England Centenarian Study (NECS), the first comprehensive medical and psychological study of the oldest old. The authors studied more than one hundred centenarians living in New England, visiting them in their homes, evaluating their physical and mental health, and tracing their family trees.

Living to 100 sums up the researchers' findings and concludes that we need to change our view of aging. Far from being a cause of illness, age is really a product of good health, Perls and Silver found. Centenarians are as mentally and physically healthy as people 30 years younger. In other words, they are living longer not in spite of disease, but rather are delaying disease and debility as long as possible. "We have replaced the saying, 'The older you get, the sicker you get,' with the more accurate observation, 'The older you get, the healthier you've been,'" says Perls.

Perls and Silver found that those who maintain their health and vitality late into their lives do so not by staying young but by aging well. In their book, the authors identify lifestyle choices, vitamins, and medications that play a role in aging well and may even help retard the aging process.

Living to 100 is packed with personal profiles, informational sidebars, and quizzes. It presents a positive vision of longevity and life at the century marka milestone that more and more of us will be fortunate enough to reach.

The New England Centenarian Study researchers have applied what they learned in this and other longevity studies to create a Web-based Life Expectancy Calculator. To use the Calculator, go to http://www.livingto100.com


Last Modified: 08/24/2018
Learn the secrets of estate planning from an expert
ADVERTISEMENT
Medicaid 101
What Medicaid Covers

In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

READ MORE
How to Qualify for Medicaid

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

READ MORE
Medicaid’s Protections for Spouses

Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.

READ MORE
What Medicaid Covers

In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

READ MORE
How to Qualify for Medicaid

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

READ MORE
Medicaid’s Protections for Spouses

Spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents have special protections to keep them from becoming impoverished.

READ MORE
Medicaid Planning Strategies

Careful planning for potentially devastating long-term care costs can help protect your estate, whether for your spouse or for your children.

READ MORE
Estate Recovery: Can Medicaid Take My House After I’m Gone?

If steps aren't taken to protect the Medicaid recipient's house from the state’s attempts to recover benefits paid, the house may need to be sold.

READ MORE
Help Qualifying and Paying for Medicaid, Or Avoiding Nursing Home Care

There are ways to handle excess income or assets and still qualify for Medicaid long-term care, and programs that deliver care at home rather than in a nursing home.

READ MORE
Are Adult Children Responsible for Their Parents’ Care?

Most states have laws on the books making adult children responsible if their parents can't afford to take care of themselves.

READ MORE
Applying for Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid is a highly technical and complex process, and bad advice can actually make it more difficult to qualify for benefits.

READ MORE
Alternatives to Medicaid

Medicare's coverage of nursing home care is quite limited. For those who can afford it and who can qualify for coverage, long-term care insurance is the best alternative to Medicaid.

READ MORE
ElderLaw 101
Estate Planning

Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.

READ MORE
Grandchildren

Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

READ MORE
Guardianship/Conservatorship

Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

READ MORE
Health Care Decisions

We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.

READ MORE
Estate Planning

Distinguish the key concepts in estate planning, including the will, the trust, probate, the power of attorney, and how to avoid estate taxes.

READ MORE
Grandchildren

Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

READ MORE
Guardianship/Conservatorship

Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

READ MORE
Health Care Decisions

We need to plan for the possibility that we will become unable to make our own medical decisions. This may take the form of a health care proxy, a medical directive, a living will, or a combination of these.

READ MORE
Long-Term Care Insurance

Understand the ins and outs of insurance to cover the high cost of nursing home care, including when to buy it, how much to buy, and which spouse should get the coverage.

READ MORE
Medicare

Learn who qualifies for Medicare, what the program covers, all about Medicare Advantage, and how to supplement Medicare’s coverage.

READ MORE
Retirement Planning

We explain the five phases of retirement planning, the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, types of investments, asset diversification, the required minimum distribution rules, and more.

READ MORE
Senior Living

Find out how to choose a nursing home or assisted living facility, when to fight a discharge, the rights of nursing home residents, all about reverse mortgages, and more.

READ MORE
Social Security

Get a solid grounding in Social Security, including who is eligible, how to apply, spousal benefits, the taxation of benefits, how work affects payments, and SSDI and SSI.

READ MORE
Special Needs Planning

Learn how a special needs trust can preserve assets for a person with disabilities without jeopardizing Medicaid and SSI, and how to plan for when caregivers are gone.

READ MORE
Veterans Benefits

Explore benefits for older veterans, including the VA’s disability pension benefit, aid and attendance, and long-term care coverage for veterans and surviving spouses.

READ MORE