Has 100 years of living become “the new 80s” in Kendall?
It all depends upon how you view life.
Via Butler, activities director at The Palace Suites of Kendall, agrees, describing four age 100-plus residents, all of whom “have something in common: a zest for life and an attitude they’re just going to have fun.”
Age is just a number, according to a recent UnitedHealthcare survey. On average, centenarians who participated in the survey say they feel 83 “years young” (65- year-old baby boomers say they feel 55).
“I’m lucky, I have good genes,” explained Mildred Weiss who once taught school in her native Detroit, MI, and raised two daughters, now a lawyer and a pediatrician.
A longtime Miamian, Weiss at 100 is “a super-active lady with a down-to-earth personality and sharp as a tack,” describes Butler who battles her twice a week in crossword puzzle contests.
Or take Marian Rovics, grandmother of three, who celebrated her 101st birthday in 2014 and stays equally active with Mildred by bringing her walker to community dance parties to step across the floor, lively as ever.
“I think I’m 40,” laughs the former St. Louis, MO, resident. “I believe you have to have a positive attitude, no matter how many problems you have.
“Life is not perfect or easy sometimes… but as long as I can move, I’m going to move,” advises Rovics, who replaced tennis and ice skating with daily yoga classes.
For Phyllis Deutsch, 100, the youngest centenarian at The Palace Suites, daily exercising to keep fit has long been her strong suit unless she’s playing a round of black jack.
“I just love being with people. That’s my hobby,” said the former New Jersey resident who also dabbles in art during spare hours.
Once a Maryland schoolteacher, Pauline Trattler, 100, prides herself on family members who lived well into their 90s (a golfing brother, 97; a sister, 93, and an aunt, 99). She lives at The Palace Suites with her daughter, Rhonda.
“I never think about my age or being old,” she declared. “I’m living for now and never think that I’m an old lady.”
Even declining eyesight doesn’t prevent her from a love of writing poetry that she dictates, including a self-composed ode to celebrate her recent 100th birthday.
Butler, a former recreation and activities director for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, reflects on having “a whole different attitude about aging since directing recreation for retirees the past four years.
“Our 100-plus ladies go from 8 to 8, just about every day,” she said. “I see our 90- year-olds making friends, falling in love — making you truly believe that you are only as old as you think you are. Just keeping up with my century club keeps me young by example.”