National Centenarian Awareness Project
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Founded in 1989 by Lynn Peters Adler, J.D.
Centenarian Expert and Older Adults Advocate

National Centenarian Awareness Project


Our Centenarian Blog: Live to 100 and Beyond

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ABC Special
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About NCAP
National Centenarian Awareness Project

Lynn Peters Adler founded the Phoenix Centenarian Program in 1985, followed in 1986 by the Arizona Centenarian Program, which led to her founding the National Centenarian Awareness Project (NCAP), a nonprofit organization, in 1989. 

National Centenarian Awareness Project celebrates active centenarians as role models for the future of aging. The centenarians we feature are remarkable and inspire positive aging. On our blog, we discuss centenarians and what its like to live to 100 and beyond.  


It is a great distinction to live to 100 years or more. Lynn Peters Adler, 1985

  • ADVOCACY: For the continued involvement of our elders as integral
    members of society.   

  • CELEBRATION/RECOGNITION:  NCAP seeks to contact and honor all those 100 years old and older as our living links to history and works with community entities to promote recognition of our eldest citizens. Click to learn about NCAP Centenarian Recognition Program and to request a Centenarian Certificate.  

  • INSPIRATION: AGE EXCELLENTLY! Active centenarians who are role models for the future of aging and inspire us to age excellently.

NCAP Background Information:
Under the auspices of city and state commissions in Arizona, Lynn originated and implemented the Phoenix Centenarian Program in 1985 to seek out and honor the city's oldest citizens - those 90 and over - with letters and certificates from the mayor, and community events and celebrations for those physically able to attend.  At the time, there were many naysayers who thought it best to "leave old people alone, where they were, to not take them out or bother them."  With physically able centenarians and others of advanced age her willing participants, Lynn was able to show that this was the wrong approach to living in advanced years--that many old people longed for socialization outside their familiar environment, and particularly that they wanted to remain included in the communities where they had lived for so many years.  And they enjoyed having fun!
         Lynn found it was also good for families and caregivers to have an outside interest for their elders.  Furthermore, she found that many community businesses and organizations were willing to support these activities, finding it good community relations, in an untapped area.  In addition, these new community events attracted the media, making it a winning concept for everyone--including the naysayers, who eventually changed their tune.
          Because of the overwhelming success of the initial program, Lynn took the concept to the Arizona governor's office and was able to expand the program statewide in 1986; she chaired the Arizona Centenarian Program until 1990.  Centenarian recognition is now a permanent program of the Arizona Governor's Council on Aging.  Beginning in 1986, Lynn presented her Centenarian Recognition Program at the American Society on Aging to interest others in starting similar programs in their communities and states.  In 1987 she served as a volunteer consultant to the National Institute on Aging in its National Centenarian Recognition Day initiative; her main contributions were to contact all 50 states to encourage participation in the program locally, to advise on implementation, and to have governors' offices recognize centenarians.  She then attended and helped with the national event in Washington, DC, and implemented similar events that year in Phoenix and Tucson.  Many of these state and regional programs continue to carry out centenarian recognition events. 
          In 1988 Lynn developed a survey addressing quality of life and health issues of advanced age.  Fifty-eight of the 171 Arizona centenarians she contacted completed the survey, with assistance when needed from their families and caregivers.  She reported her findings later that year in an award-winning issue of a newsletter published by a Phoenix nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for seniors, and underwritten by a local business. ... Continued awareness of centenarians led to the establishment of  National Centenarian Awareness Project in 1989.
         She has made inspirational presentations and speeches to audiences large and small, including professionals in the field of aging and gerontology and the general public, encouraging people to make the most of their later years.  "Centenarians are not quitters," she says.  "Active centenarians are our role models for living long and aging well.  They are the role models for the future of aging."

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