Say It Isn't So
Thanksgiving 2023

Do You Want to Live to 100?

I listened to a talk by Ken Dychtwald, an important thinker on aging and author of many books on that subject.  An engaging speaker, he’s been all over this topic for many years, and he asks the above question regularly of his audiences.

As you might suspect, almost everyone raises their hands to indicate “of course”.  His follow up question, “No matter what?”  dramatically changed the response. 

My current thought is that if my life is so diminished that I am a burden to society, if I can’t communicate or think rationally, I don’t want to be here.  And I think many people would agree with me, but not everyone.  In the session I watched, a few people indicated they wanted to be here no matter what their situation was.

But what we don’t know now is how we will feel then.  Maybe our quality of life will be sufficient to sustain us.  Who makes that decision?  Will we be able to?

It’s hard to say.


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That is a question I often ask myself, especially when I see people in nursing home, but then I see people in their 90's that are a joy to be around and an inspiration to me. In the AARP magazine this month there was an article about people in late 90's that really inspired me.
I live my live honestly, with happiness (most of the time!) and live my life with constant conversation with my Lord. I try to live in such a way that He is proud of me. Believe me I am not a "Pollyanna " by any means. I screw up constantly with words that just fall out of my mouth and sometimes hurt people because I have never learn to think before speaking!

Deb Pepe

I think about this a lot. I'm fine now at 81, but have a plan if things go south. The question is, as you said, what will I feel like if/when this happens?

Jackie rifkin

Very thoughtful comments on this, Judy. Right now there is a lot of focus on the Blue Zones, those areas of the world where people live long PRODUCTIVE lives and cities across the US are applying for that status, probably helped out with grants. Of course in authoritarian Singapore the government is able to regulate the amount of sugar in soft drinks, provide easy walking paths and mandate healthy food stands. Loma Linda California was the only US city cited in the Netflix documentary; and that may be due to a large Seventh Day Adventist population. It really is quite easy for individuals to follow guidelines in nutrition and exercise, much more difficult for communities but it's happening:85 US cities, including mine, are taking up the challenge.

Becky in California

Interesting that you should bring this up, because my hospital plan is requesting I fill out an advanced directive to let them know my wishes. It's such a challenge because of the gray areas. If, for example, I have a stroke and am unable to communicate or do other things... but have the possibility of improvement... then my choice would be much different than if there was little hope of improvement. The question is, who decided on what "little hope" means? Do we leave it to our doctors? And to what degree are our doctors or hospitals influenced by cost effectiveness, or our age? I don't want to be written off just because I'm elderly. But on the other hand, like you, I never want to be a burden. It is very complicated.


Living to one hundred? Why is that a big deal? The question is how can we make the best of each moment in time. Sometimes like Carol, I open my mouth and wish I hadn't and other days I'm so thankful I had kept my mouth shut and just listened. All we have is a nano second in time, no matter what our age. I appreciate your blog and the comments from others!

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