At 100, 'Mum' now 1 in 100,00
by Maureen West
The Arizona Republic
August 4, 2000
"When the Queen Mother of England turns 100 today, she
will be joining a rapidly growing group of about 100,000 people
worldwide who have reached that age. And by 2050, a million centenarians
are expected to live in the United States alone. An estimated
600 centenarians live in Arizona, and that number is expected
to double over the next few decades.
The publicity surrounding the arrival of royalty into the
100-birthday club may convince more people that they are likely
to live longer than they ever expected - or planned for. Studies
of people who live past 100 show several common characteristics,
most notably an ability to roll with the punches of life, to
adapt, to aggressively fight for health resources and take responsibility
for their own care.
Lynn Peters Adler, who operates the Phoenix-based National Centenarian Awareness Project,
studies centenarians all over the country. She has noticed other
common features of such people, including their love of history
and family storytelling.
On first glance, it may appear that the Queen Mother
has lived to 100 because of a pampered lifestyle. Not necessarily
In her 100 years, the whole role of the British Empire
has changed dramatically.
Like most other centenarians, she has lost her spouse, most
of her friends and many younger relatives. World War I, which
broke out on her 16th birthday, killed her elder brother and
wounded another brother. During the World War II, she and the
king refused to leave Buckingham Palace, which was hit by enemy
fire nine times. And she has been a widow since 1952.
Adler has identified seven characteristics shared by many
centenarians: a positive yet realistic attitude, an adventurous
love of life, a strong will, spiritual beliefs, an ability to
renegotiate life when necessary, an insistence on aggressive
medical care when necessary, and a sense of humor."