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Living to over 100 years old


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DH's grandma is about 103.  I am not sure the exact age, I think it is 103.  She is now on her death bed, but it has gotten me wondering about living a long time.

 

I know quality of life is important, and she hasn't had it for about 13 years.  She drove and was active until about age 90.  Then she has been in a nursing home and not doing well for over 10 years.

 

I look at Betty White and she is still active in her 90s, but she has watched all of her friends pass away before her, and that can't be easy.

 

I know we can't know how long we will live, but I am curious:  Would you want to live to 100 or beyond, even in decent health?  

 

There may be no way to really answer that as there are so many factors involved.  For me, it would depend on my kids, grandkids, and me not being a burden to them.

 

You?

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My mother is 94 and in great shape. Most days, she is still happy to be alive. She regrets giving up her home and  moving into an independent living facility after my father died.  She loves my kids and enjoys her time with them. She has lived through basically all of her friends dying.  She still takes good care of herself and is very active.  She did stop driving after my dad died. I think she was in her late eighties. 

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In decent health?  Sure.  But I'd hate to be isolated at any age, I think that would be really hard.  It's already an issue for older people to live in isolation, and as you outlive your peers, it's probably even worse, so I'd hope to approach that proactively and be involved in both family life and social life.  

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I’m not sure. My grandmother, who we were all sure was going to live forever, is going home to hospice after a week in the hospital and a sudden advanced cancer diagnosis. She’s 89 and watched many of her friends pass in the fifteen years since my grandpa died. She said she’s ready to go and praying for God to take her soon. She’s surrounded by family who absolutely adores her, so as much as it breaks our hearts not to get to celebrate her 90th birthday with her later this year, we are praying for a quick end to her suffering too.

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Depends on my health and that of my loved ones. I don't want to linger in a  nursing home, and I don't want to suffer from illness and pain - I'd rather take a shorter life than go through prolonged suffering.

 

My one grandmother lived with our family, helped raise her grand kids, lived a healthy active life until 93, and died in her own bed after three days illness. If I can live like this to over one hundred, absolutely.

My great grandmother lived with her daughter, my other grandma, and was well until 9, when she had a stroke and spent her last year in a hospital. I'd rather a stroke kill me outright.

My aunt will turn 90 next year, and she has already lost both her children. No, I don't want that.

 

 

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In decent health? Yes.  We build our circle of friends (it's not stagnant) and we'd be living in a place with other older folks (to enjoy and reminisce similar things) not to mention our family is pretty darn close knit and I don't see that changing.

 

In a nursing home or otherwise needing a bit of assistance for the basics? No.

 

But then again, I feel the same way about age 51.  (I'm 50.)  I only want to stick around as long as I can still enjoy life.  Quality of life is extremely important to me and I'm not the least bit afraid of the next life.  I don't have to be able to do everything I could do at age 20, but I have to be able to do things and go places.

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Sure.  And I am not in particularly good health.  If I am still able to think well enough, yes.  I am not one who would like to linger for a really long time with Alzheimer's or some other dementia or loss of mental function but not even early in those stages.  Basically when I cannot have any useful function or can't ever enjoy anything.

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Yes, I do. I have set age 100 as a personal goal, and anything past that is gravy. I mean, as long as I'm still healthy enough to read books. (or listen to audio books if I go blind I guess). As long as there are books, I figure life will be worth living. 

 

My great aunt got her PhD in her 70s and was working into her 90s, so I'm hoping I got those genes, lol. On my paternal side my grandma was active and happy into her 90s, then her chronic lymphoma turned more serious and it was pretty quick. I'd be ok with that too. She was overweight, less healthy, but she enjoyed life (and pizza and champagne).

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My grandma is 105. She will be 106 in March. Overall her health is pretty good.

My father passed away when she was 95 and that was hard on her because you shouldn't outlive your children.

She moved in with my aunt after my father died. My uncle had passed away 6 months before my father. My aunt lost her husband and her brother.

Long story short, my grandma enjoys her life most of the time.

I would only want to live as long as my grandmother if I had my health,my mind, and a willing child to live with who would make sure I was being taken care of.

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My grandmother is 95 and my mom and stepdad moved in with her. She really needed assistance but she is adamantly against going into a home of any kind, She has some health problems and occasionally sees a doctor for them, but she's old school and does what she wants. She doesn't follow medical advice. My mom is scared she'll turn out the same way. My mom is 75. 

 

I'm scared of not being healthy at any age, but especially when I'm old. I don't want to have to have anyone caring for me 24/7. I don't want to be in pain. I don't think I'd be a good 100 year old woman. I want to die quickly, whether it's heart attack or stroke. I'm scared of cancer and wasting away. I've heard such horror stories of nursing homes. I can understand why my grandmother doesn't want to be in one. She's seen some bad stuff with friends and family she's visited. 

 

I don't like getting older because there is so much unknown.

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No, I don't think so.

 

While none of us can know what will happen in the next minute, let alone decades down the road -- Odds are I'll be aging w/o DH. I doubt DS19 will ever have kids. If DS22 has them I suspect he'll limit it to one or two, and it's not unlikely his career path will take him far away. As an introvert I sure don't need much social interaction, but I can all too easily envision a very lonely old age, with me being not much except a burden to the boys. And I don't want that. Plus while my paternal grandparents both lived fairly well into their early/mid 90's, I've never known anyone to make it beyond that with any kind of quality of life.

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I don't know. My step grandfather lived until he was about 98. He had been a semi pro/pro athlete when he was younger and was in excellent shape. He still bowled weekly on a senior bowling league (and complained the rest of the team was the age of his children) with respectable scores until he was 94. My unmarried uncle lived with him and cared for him, so he was able to stay in his house and community his entire life. He exercised daily, even if it was just squeezing a tennis ball or using his walker to walk laps around the house. He enjoyed watching sports on TV and learning about new technology. When he finally got ill, he went downhill quickly and said, "OK, I'm ready to die!" and he did. If he had stayed healthy, I don't think he would have minded living past 100.

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I plan to live to be 120.  Once I hit old age, I may change my mind.  But for now, that's my goal.

 

My family tends to be long lived.  I have a great grandmother who was in her mid 90s when she passed (94ish? )  She was healthy and living in her own home right up until she got pancreatic cancer.  Her decline was very swift and she spent all but her last couple days in her own home.  I have a picture of her, my grandmother, my mom and her sister, myself and DD22 all together.  My grandma and grandpa are 85 and 90 and both are generally pretty healthy.  They did just both get out of the hospital, but their admit was only a day or two each, the illnesses were minor, and both were released with a clean bill of health.  Clean enough that they are back in their own home, grandpa will be going back to work next week (yes, he still works, and yes, it's completely by his choice)

My aunt is their primary "helper" but even then, she really doesn't do much but check in.  They live in their own home, cook for themselves, clean for themselves, manage their own healthcare, their own bills, etc etc.    In a couple of weeks, DH and I will be taking the kids up to visit.  And the two of them and my aunt came down from Chicago to celebrate Christmas with our family on 12/9 when my youngest sister was also in town with her new baby.  That's the kind of life I intend to have until 120. 

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My dh's grandfather lived to 98 in great health and amazing mental faculties. He was living with his daughter, adult grandchildren, and had a good quality of life and strong religious faith. It was still challenging for him as his wife and friends were mostly all passed away, but he still had a very important place in the family. 

 

To answer the OP's question;    All I can answer is that I will definitely NOT be voluntarily cutting my life short. I enjoy living and believe I have a purpose that goes beyond my personal pleasure and the convenience of my children. If I end up being a burden to them, it's not because I've chosen to be. I hope they will find some value in caring for me as I cared for them in their early life.

Edited by wintermom
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I have absolutely no desire to live to 100.   I doubt I will though.

 

 I've only had a few family members make it into their 90 and that was 2-3 generations ago.  

 

dh's dad was 103 when he died (he was doing pretty well up until 95ish).  I would not want his life the last 8 yrs or so.   Dh's mom is in her 90s (but her body is frail).  I think about it a lot.  Dh is most likely going to outlive me.  

 

 

 

 

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It depends on what my health issues are. MIL had dementia and no way do I want to live for years with that. It was torture for her- her particular variety included things like seeing people in her house- some of which she thought were molesting her. My grandmother was legally blind from about age 80 on and while she listened to audiobooks (back in the 80's when they were on records!) she couldn't do things like take a walk or make her own food.  Losing vision that late in life made her life miserable.  My dad is 86 and is no longer a good driver but he's reluctant to give it up. He's had no accidents but he now only drives once a week to buy groceries and he times it to be during a non-busy time. He doesn't like not having the freedom to go where he wants when he wants.  And he knows it stresses us that he's still driving. 

 

On the other hand, in the 1960's my great grandmother turned 100 and lived a simple, happy life until she had a massive heart attack and passed away. Now THAT life I would like (well, except the part about living in Germany during World War 2). She gardened, had coffee with friends and family, read the paper, cooked meals...up until the day she died.   

 

So would I like to live to 100? depends. 

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I think that God gives us time and we get to use it.

I'm sanguine about age at death.

 

I've already done so many things I never even dreamed of.  I feel so fortunate.  If I got a terminal illness tomorrow I would feel like, OK, I had a good life.

 

But if I live another bunch of decades, that would be fine, too.

 

I always have something to work on, things I want to accomplish, little and big.  There are places I'd still like to see in the world, some of which are still possible for me.  Climbing Machu Pichu is off the table, but the others are mostly still out there.  

 

But even if I was confined to an assisted living place, I could play hymns in my head and think about all the books I've read and the life I've known for a good long time before I got tired of it.  I would not want to be breathless or in pain for years on end, and I know that that happens to people, but if it was a gradual onset I imagine that I would adjust.

 

I'm good with whatever God allows me.  Well He knows what best to grant me.

 

 

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I absolutely DO. I know part of the conversations with my onco team is that 5 & 10 year survival rates don't interest me. I want 40+ more years (I just turned 51).  Super duper long term survival is where my ears perk up. 

I have plans! Things to do and dogs to get to know and books to explore and places to visit and people to meet. 

Also the documentaries or personal stories of people in their 90-100s now are not really relevant to us. Given that I think most of us are 50 or under here, these people are 50 years behind us in terms of medical advances, nutrition, surgical techniques.  We are making huge progress so just because a 100 yo has a certain quality of life now, in 2018, I wouldn't expect mine to be similar 50 years from now. 

I say yes, bring it on (& guys, the hive will be here & we'll all know each other and still be friends so no, we won't be lonely :D ) 
 

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In decent health, sure.  I would love to actually enjoy a retirement.  :P

 

My kids were born when I was 40.  I am 51 and I don't want to lose my parents any time soon.  When my kids are 51 I'll be 91 (if I make it that far) and I'm guessing they won't be wanting to lose their mom any time soon either.

 

I have had some relatives live into their 90s, and they have been as spry or more so than many middle-aged people.  It really depends on whether you're lucky enough to still be able to move and think at that point.

 

I do have a genetic tendency to the eye problems my mom has.  She hasn't been able to see well for quite some time, and her grandmother went totally blind, I assume from the same problem.  If I went blind in old age, I am not sure how I'd feel about my life quality.  It would be an adjustment for sure, but enough people live with blindness that it is clearly do-able.  I should probably plan for it in advance so it doesn't throw me for a loop.

 

Meanwhile, I need to get back to my daily yoga and such or I won't be wanting to see 70.  :P

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My parents have said they rather not live beyond 80 years old. My grandparents has died in their 70s and they suffered for a short while or not at all before death. My dad’s siblings that has passed had long torturous years and their children driving them to numerous medical appointments as well as paying for a live in aide.

 

My husband’s grandma is approaching a hundred years old and she has dementia and need a live in aide for more than 15 years. She is wheelchair bound. Luckily one of FIL’s sister’s husband is well to do and willing to help financially with the hospital bills for hip fracture operations.

 

Financially it would be a burden if my husband and I live to 90 years old even if we are in perfect health. Unless we are in such wonderful health that we are still working.

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I have had several female relatives live to late nineties and early hundreds. Some were in better health and more mentally with it than others. One of my great aunts was very active and died at about 98 but her sister lived to 104 (I think) but she was less well and had quite confused in her last few years.

 

In decent health I wouldn't mind living a long life but with significant health issues I'd rather not put myself or family through it.

Edited by lailasmum
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I think I might, if I'm reasonably healthy.  And things haven't gone to hell in a hand basket.  I'm a fairly curious person, and it appeals to my curiosity.  

 

We don't seem to have a ton of long drawn out illnesses in my family - almost the opposite, people are healthy and then there is a sharp decline and death.  I may not be the most mobile as I'm already somewhat arthritic, but that doesn't bother me much.

 

I think I'd likely still have family around - my extended family is large and mostly lives here, and I've four kids.  I can't see dh making it to that age with me as he's a bit older and the genetics are not as good, plus he's a man.  But I'd be ok on my own.

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Yes, providing I keep my personality. I have thought about this. I would adore a retirement place with arts and programs and shows and pool. If I sit alone in my home no. I need people and action. My relatives all seem to run pedal to the metal until their late 80's and then just, boom, run off a cliff. There are worse things than that.

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

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I would love to live hundreds of years!  Imagine all the new things you would get to experience, and the generations of your family you would get to know!

 

DH's grandma is about 103.  I am not sure the exact age, I think it is 103.  She is now on her death bed, but it has gotten me wondering about living a long time.

 

I know quality of life is important, and she hasn't had it for about 13 years.  She drove and was active until about age 90.  Then she has been in a nursing home and not doing well for over 10 years.

 

I look at Betty White and she is still active in her 90s, but she has watched all of her friends pass away before her, and that can't be easy.

 

I know we can't know how long we will live, but I am curious:  Would you want to live to 100 or beyond, even in decent health?  

 

There may be no way to really answer that as there are so many factors involved.  For me, it would depend on my kids, grandkids, and me not being a burden to them.

 

You?

 

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I want to live as long as possible. I feel like some crappy things have happened in my life and it's only been later in my life that things have been better overall, not perfect but going in a direction I want, so I want as much time as I can get now.

Edited by OrganicJen
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The older I get, the longer I want to live.

 

100 doesn’t sound nearly as old as it used to when I was younger. Now that I’m 54, I think another 50 years or so sounds just about right.

 

Like others have already mentioned, I want to be healthy and have my family near me. I’m trying to maintain a positive outlook on aging. :)

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I would love to live as old as my paternal grandmother (93) or older, as watching my great great grandchildren would be fascinating and beautiful.  I hope that by eating better and doing classical stretch daily that I will up the odds of my living a long life full of health.  Obviously, we can only do what we can do for health and the rest is not up to us- genetically and environmental. 

 

My grandmother lost her memory the last 3 years due to mini strokes- no matter my age, I prefer to go quickly once my memory is gone, as it is hard for the family.

 

Brenda

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I have this photo of my Great-Grandmother when she flew to visit us.   This was a momentous occasion because dad remembers her pointing out every newspaper article on plane crashes and saying she'd never fly.   But, when she was 90+, the worst that could happen wasn't so bad anymore.   In the photo she is wearing a flowered dress, my dad's cowboy hat and her legs are crossed.   Being like that at that age is a goal of mine.  

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The older I get, the longer I want to live.

 

100 doesn’t sound nearly as old as it used to when I was younger. Now that I’m 54, I think another 50 years or so sounds just about right.

 

Like others have already mentioned, I want to be healthy and have my family near me. I’m trying to maintain a positive outlook on aging. :)

 

 

I find this to be true, too. My dad died a few years ago at 61, and it put a lot of things into perspective. I'm 37; if I died at 61 I'd only have 24 years left and that seems like an awfully short time. Even if I made it to 70, that's only 33 years - less time ahead of me than behind. So yes, I'd like to live to be quite old, given the health factor. 

 

Genetically speaking, my mother's side has longevity (her parents are 93 and 91 and independent) but my father's side not so much. I wonder which side I take after, but of course there's no way to know. 

 

My grandparents have buried two of their children, so that's a sobering thought.

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My great grandmother lived to be 109. She was all there mentally and really had no illness to speak of. But, it was hard on her. She was ready to go. She had so few people left. Her husband was gone, her siblings were gone, her daughter and most of her friends were gone. She was lonely. She wanted to be with great grandfather again.

 

She was an amazing person and I was glad to have for her for so long but it was hard to see her that way. There's good and bad to everything, I guess.

 

I honestly cant say how long I want to live. I just dont want to die too young.

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The older I get, the longer I want to live.

 

100 doesn’t sound nearly as old as it used to when I was younger. Now that I’m 54, I think another 50 years or so sounds just about right.

 

Like others have already mentioned, I want to be healthy and have my family near me. I’m trying to maintain a positive outlook on aging. :)

I understand this. I feel like I am oh-so-near to the point where my daily agenda will not be dictated by the needs of parents or children. I just want a few years to be productive in an area of my own interest for a while, know what I mean? I'd like to do that in good health. Twenty years of that would make me happy, then I'd hope for a few more with good mobility. But I also want to be mentally fit. That, honestly, is my larger concern.

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The older I get, the longer I want to live.

 

100 doesn’t sound nearly as old as it used to when I was younger. Now that I’m 54, I think another 50 years or so sounds just about right.

 

Like others have already mentioned, I want to be healthy and have my family near me. I’m trying to maintain a positive outlook on aging. :)

 

Yes to this.

 

Dh's two grandmothers lived to be 96 and 103. The older one was actually in better physical health and both were relatively mentally sharp until the end. His dad turned 93 earlier this month and is quite active.

 

My mother died an accidental death at 74 but her two sisters are in their 80s and still active. The men in my father's family died young but the women live long.

 

I would like to live to 100 + if I'm in decent health and mentally aware.

 

I'm at the age now where I have more years behind me than ahead of me. I wonder if that affects my desire to live longer?

Edited by Lady Florida.
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I'd like to make it to my diamond anniversary, the 75th. I will be 93 then. On that anniversary my husband and I decided we will take a very dangerous bicycle journey and die together quickly or at the least our cycling journeys will get progressively more and more dangerous. If we are lucky we will die happy together doing something we love.

 

It may be wishful thinking but it sounds good. :)

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It's hard to say. My grandma just died at Christmas. She was 95. She played piano every day up until a few weeks before her death. She had five children and about 30 grandchildren and had visitors every day. I can't remember when she went into the nursing home - maybe at 89? At first, she wasn't happy, but then she met some friends who she'd gone to elementary school with and she found some social events that she enjoyed so she did end up having some happy years there. My uncle created a slideshow with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of photos from her childhood all the way up to present day and she loved to look at them. They played continually on a screen in her room. She was also financially stable - not a burden on anyone. 

 

I guess if she had lived but wasn't really living an enjoyable life - not able to play the piano, or have conversations with her visitors, or appreciate her pictures - then maybe it wouldn't have been worth living longer. But, she did pretty good up to 95. 

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I think it depends on attitude as well as reasonable health.  If you see each year as a decline (people dying, closer to death yourself, 'no future') then it's miserable being very old.  If you can embrace change, then each year can be good in its own way.

 

My mother stopped growing at the time of her divorce forty years ago.  She's miserable at 93 and doesn't give those around her joy, despite good health for her age.  By contrast, one 88-year-old lady that I know at choir is always open to new experiences: exercise, volunteering, learning...; even if she becomes more infirm (currently she still runs) I can't see her losing that optimistic spirit.

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