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

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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 so … 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."

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