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Unique Group of 90-Year-Olds Share Top Ten Longevity Tips
Date:2/17/2009

Residents at the Renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home are in it for the

Long Haul and Share Their Secrets for Hopefully Reaching 100

RESEDA, Calif., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- At the Los Angeles Jewish Home, one of the largest groups of 90-year-olds living together under one roof in the U.S. all agree on two things: They would like to live to 100, and they believe they have the best ideas on just how to accomplish that goal.

Rick Smith, M.D., medical director for the Home, thinks it is important seniors throughout the U.S. learn from the very special demographic at his facility, where residents live nearly six years longer than the industry average.

Over the past century, life expectancy in the United States has increased about 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This has brought the average life expectancy from 47.3 years for someone born in 1900 to 77.3 years for someone born in 2002. Most interesting is the fact that centenarians are one of the fastest-growing segments of society, making what the residents of the Jewish Home have to say particularly relevant.

Though demographers and public health experts are split over whether the next century will see longevity increases similar to the last one, the hearty band of elders at the Los Angeles Jewish Home seem to be onto something special.

"Most of what they suggest is very straightforward," Dr. Smith said. "The overall lesson is a simple one: Get out of bed in the morning and get active. That's what most of our residents do. Their individual activities may vary somewhat, but they all attempt to be active."

According to Dr. Smith, each 90-year-old has his or her own keys to healthy living, ranging from physical intimacy to lifelong learning to traveling. And, of course, there is the "pure luck" of having good genes. Based on their collective wisdom, Dr. Smith offers his top ten tips that he believes greatly increase a person's chances of reaching the century mark:

  1. Decide what is most important to you and focus on it. A lot of life's little annoyances don't seem so great if you keep your priorities straight.
  2. Participate in some kind of physical exercise, depending on what your body will allow you to do.
  3. Keep your mind sharp through mental exercise. The mind is a muscle. It must be used.
  4. Have a balanced diet and pay attention to what you eat. In short, eat right.
  5. Avoid isolation. Find someone to love and something to keep you engaged.
  6. Relax. Don't let stress eat you up. The older people get, the more they seem to understand that it doesn't pay to sweat the small stuff.
  7. Don't smoke at all and don't drink too much.
  8. Remain spiritual. Believe in something.
  9. Laugh every day. Happiness breeds contentment and laughter remains one of the best medicines.
  10. Keep "spice" in your life. Either in your food, your reading or your love life.

Founded in 1912, the world-renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home is one of the foremost multi-level senior-living communities in the United States and the largest single-source provider of senior housing in Los Angeles. In total, the Home annually serves more than 1,700 seniors through an extraordinary continuum of services. Each year, more than 1,200 women and men are cared for in-residence on two village campuses, with services including independent-living "Neighborhood Home" accommodations, residential care, skilled nursing care, acute psychiatric care, Alzheimer's disease and dementia care, and end-of-life care. Another 500 seniors are served through the Home's community-based programs, which includes Skirball Hospice and community clinics. The Home is a nonprofit organization that relies upon donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to continue its remarkable work. Further information regarding the Home can be found online at www.jha.org or by calling 818-757-4407.


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SOURCE Los Angeles Jewish Home
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