From gender to living arrangements, an overwhelming majority of those who live past 100 tend to have a few key shared traits, reports Kelley D. Hamilton.
According to Kelley D. Hamilton, active and fair-skinned females cohabitating with others in populated beach towns may have the most longevity of any demographic. As reported by 2010 Census Bureau data, the centenarian population has increased by some 20,000 individuals since 1980. Kelley D. Hamilton explains the data also reveals clues as to who is living past the ten-decade mark.
The World Factbook reports that females in the United States live an average of five years longer than their male counterparts, says Kelley D. Hamilton. This trend seems to hold true, especially in the centenarian population, as the bulk of those living past 100 are female. Kelley D. Hamilton explains that females make up nearly 83% of all century-survivors in the US. It is thought that the female tendency to engage in social activity perpetuates longevity of life. Professor Gary Small, UCLA’s Director of the Los Angeles-based Longevity Center, believes that a full social calendar may help reduce stress. Kelley D. Hamilton adds that since it is likely that females have more friends, they are more likely to reach out for, and receive, help in case of a medical emergency.
Assisted Living and Nursing Home Facilities May Increase Life Expectancy
According to Kelley D. Hamilton, only about 33% of centenarians lived alone in 2010. The majority of these seniors reside either with family or in a structured care environment. Kelley D. Hamilton reports that women are more likely to live out their golden years in assisted living or nursing home facilities than males. This may also be a contributing factor in the unusually long female life expectancy, says Kelley D. Hamilton, again pointing out that females are more likely to receive the proper care they need to stay healthy well beyond retirement.
Urban Areas House More Centenarians
Over 85% of those over 100 years old live in an urban environment, reports Kelley D. Hamilton, and it may be that active seniors living in the city have more mental stimulation than those choosing to retire to the country. Kelley D. Hamilton explains that metropolitan areas also allow for more immediate health care and expanded social networks. Seniors living in more populated areas have more access to transportation, which may equate to more regular doctors’ visits and consequently a longer life, suggests Kelley D. Hamilton.
Coastal States Are Populated With Active Seniors
Kelley D. Hamilton notes that California, by far, has the highest number of centenarians of any other state. In 2010, California had nearly 6000 residents who reached the age of 100. New York and Florida weren’t far behind and Texas rounded out the top four states for centenarians with just fewer than 3000. Kelley D. Hamilton explains that seniors living in these states may be exposed to more active lifestyles, better medical care, and a more nutritive diet.
Those Who Exercise Age Healthier
While many seniors tend to take the slow road beyond retirement, Kelley D. Hamilton explains that a common trait among healthy older Americans is exercise. Kelley D. Hamilton notes that seniors who are inclined to stay in motion also have a tendency to live longer.
According to Kelley D. Hamilton, while there are an impressive number of centenarians living in the United States, it is far from the most long-lived citizens in the world. In fact, Kelley D. Hamilton reports that Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan are all leading the US in a number of seniors who the pass the age of 100. Kelley D. Hamilton believes that with greater care, more attention to the important areas of diet, exercise, and mental stimulation, American seniors can look forward to living happy, healthy, and active lives well past the average life expectancy of just under 78 years.
Kelley D. Hamilton is the CEO of Bonaventure – a network of retirement living communities serving Washington state, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon.