A long life is one of man’s greatest dreams. But this dream can never be pulled off by chance. A long and healthy one starts with having good genes, but definitely, it is not your genes alone that can determine if you’ll live past the 100 mark. What you take and what you do is a huge factor. But many age-conscious people in the world find very notable places where many inhabitants live long and healthy lives. What then can we learn from these distinct communities?

Okinawa, Japan

With over a million inhabitants in this southern Japanese island, more than 900 of them have already lived more than a century. There are five more Okinawans who live to be 100 years old or so compared to other places in Japan. And the number of their centenarians is four times as many in America and in Britain.
One distinct characteristic of the Okinawans is the ability to be healthy even until their end. Researchers observed that these people tend to age slower than others. They even work as long as they can which grants these people ikigai, a sense of purpose. Read More…

January 31, 2014

At 102 Years old, Robert Marchand has cycled into the record books by covering almost 27 kilometres (approx 16.7 miles) in one hour.  This has enabled this fit and active retired firefighter to maintain his crown in the over 100’s category.  He also holds the over 100’s record for 100 kilometres (62 miles).

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Laurie Coates Inspirational Elder at 100Laurie went to the doctor the other week which is not unusual – he has superficial skin cancers all over his body. What startled the doctor was when Laurie asked him if he could check his heart. The doctor did so – and looked at him in amazement. “You’ve got the heart of a 16-year-old” he said.

Always good news when you’re 100 and well on your way to your 101st.


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I've got a habit of LIVING T-shirt imageWhen I was on holiday recently, I went to the South Island of New Zealand and spent most of my time in Queenstown. If you have ever been there you will know what a spectacular place it is, with the mountains and lakes and great vistas.

On my return I flew into Christchurch and as I exited the plane and entered into the airbridge, the man in front of me removed his jacket. Wow, I thought when I saw the back of his T-shirt, what a great motto.

I snuck out my smartphone and took a quick picture. Once I had taken it I felt a bit guilty, given that I did not have his permission, or even knew that I had taken the picture. Admittedly, it was taken from behind so he was not to know. Nevertheless, I felt I needed to tell him.

I tapped him on the shoulder and said “I hope you don’t mind, but I took a photo of the back of your T-shirt – I hope that is ok?” He was fine with it and I went on to explain that I would like to put it on a website I have because of the message in the motto. He said he was fine with that and said he was keen to get the message out. He then went a little quiet, then explained that he had previously had a drug problem and this T-shirt was a public declaration that he was now free, and was just high on life.

Something I think, we could all take on board.

Another very inspirational elder. I guess we can’t all own such a classic, but you have got to admire her attitude!



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Inspirational Elder 105 Year Old Jessie Jordan talks about life on the other side of 100 and what is important in life. Her friends and family and even a hockey legend come to her home to help celebrate her big day.

Inspirational elder Besse Cooper is recognized by Guinness World book of records as the world’s oldest living woman. A former teacher, she was born in 1896.

There are plenty of contenders for the oldest person in the world. It all depends on the criteria used. However the Guinness World book of records has an authority like no other, and according to them, the oldest man in the world is Henry Allingham, a first world war veteran. He certainly qualifies as an Inspirational Elder.

World’s Oldest living man celebrates 115th birthday
Yahoo! News Blogs (blog)Jiroemon Kimura of Kyoto, Japan, the world’s oldest living man, celebrated his 115th birthday on Thursday.According to the Gerontology Research Group (GRG), an international body that specifically deals in longevity research, he is not only the world’s oldest living man, but is the third-oldest man in recorded history.

“I’m delighted beyond words,” Kimura said of his milestone.

However, Kimura is not technically the world’s oldest living person. That distinction belongs to Georgia resident Besse Cooper, who was born on August 26, 1896.

Kimura has fathered 7 children (5 are still alive), has 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren. He says eating small portions of food has been his secret to longevity. Kimura worked at a post office for 38 years before switching careers to become a farmer, which he was until he was 90 years old.

And Kimura has another distinction: He is technically a supercentenarian, someone who is 110 or older. According to GRG, there are 70 verified supercentenarians alive today.

image of an inspirational elder who is 101

An excellent vintage

She is keen to live longer! Yesterday we held a party for my mother in law who has just turned 101. She is truly amazing.  Sometimes I just watch her, sitting in an armchair in the corner invariably reading her way through a newspaper or magazine – and without glasses. She reads everything and anything from cover to cover and will talk sensibly about what she has been reading.

Sure, she has slowed down somewhat and walks slowly with the aid of a walking stick. We walk slowly behind her and have a little smile watching her. Whenever anyone is going anywhere she is keen to go, even if it means hours of travel. She rarely misses church on Sunday and sometimes goes to other meetings as well.

At times recently, she forgets who people are, yet can carry on a good conversation and ask relevant questions.  The other day she went to a local school and answered questions from the children and had a photo taken with each one of them.

She puts her longevity down to hard work and God blessing her so she can enjoy her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. By the time most people had left the party, she was still awake and chirpy, more than most of the rest of us!  Truly an inspiration. She is certainly one to live longer and seems like she will go on for ever.