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3 Amazing Centenarians Changing What Aging Means

User Category: TechnologyOn: November 18, 2013

Thanks to advancements in medicine, technology, and nutrition, Americans are living longer than ever before-– life spans have increased by 4.6 years since 1989 for men and 2.7 years for women. The U.S. Census projects the population of centenarians (those living +100 years) will exceed 1 million before 2050. As the population ages, the meaning of “growing older” is changing drastically. To illustrate this point, we pulled together 3 stories of amazing seniors who have accomplished amazing things late in life. Meet the World’s Oldest….  Oldest College Graduate At 95 years young, Kansas resident Nola Ochs became the world’s oldest college students after graduating from Fort Hays State University in 1997. Nola, a survivor of the Dust Bowl, started attending community college classes after her husband passed away in 1972 and earned her undergraduate degree in General Studies over 30 years.  An added bonus: Nola graduated alongside her 21-year-old granddaughter!   Oldest Facebook User

Edythe Kirchmaier, age 105, is the Facebook’s oldest user. As of today her page has nearly 16,000 likes and she her goal is to reach 105,000. Although Edythe has a love for new technology (she adores her iPad mini and loves Googling facts), Edythe’s social media efforts have a philanthropic undertone. For the past 40 years she has served as a volunteer with Direct Relief International and started her Facebook page to help her favorite charity. Edythe is very active in her community, continuing to work with Direct Relief one day a week and chauffeuring friends around in her minivan.   Oldest Marathon Runner

Can you imagine running 9 marathons?! The world’s oldest marathon runner, Fauja Singh picked up running in his 90s and completed nine 26-mile races over the course of a decade. Singh began running to find new focus after the death of his son, and found emotional clarity in clocking miles. In 2011, Singh became the first centenarian to complete a marathon after completing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in a little over 8 hours. Singh hung up his sneakers and retired in February 2013 at the age of 101.   Hopefully these stories help highlight that it is never too late to get started. And the best time to get started is TODAY. What is something you aspire to do?