Centenarians becoming more and more common

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Posted: Friday, June 6, 2014 11:11 am

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Reports show that larger numbers of people are living longer, and the amount of people living to age 100 are consistently reaching record highs.

So you want to live to be 100? What is the secret to longevity? Is it diet, exercise or genetics? Why are some people wired to hit the triple digits?

Clara Orwiler is 100 years old with a birthday coming up soon. “Well, I'm a hundred and what is it? Eleven months. Eleven months, yeah, one month to go.”

Her formative years set the pace for the rest of her life. “Cleaned the barn out, and milked cows, and I could drive a team of horses when I was ten years old.”

Orwiler isn’t the only resident of Pines of Sarasota to hit triple digits, says activities director Sandy Lloyd at Pines.

“In fact, the oldest one is 107…no men.”

At the Pines, she says women far outnumber the men. “Which is of course quite a delight for the guys. Last year we had a centenarian tea party where we had 17 residents; there were 16 ladies and one gentleman there.”

A 2014 U.S. Census Bureau report finds the majority of centenarians are women.

But 93-year-old Maurice Price wants to buck that trend. “Oh, I'd like to live to be at least a hundred.”

He says he has good genetics, and no heart problems. “There are more people living to be a hundred than in the past. I'd like to add to that statistic.”

His game plan? “Oh, I just watch my diet, try to do a little exercise.”

He frequents the Senior Friendship Center in Sarasota where activities for the young at heart are abundant.

Orwiler, on the other hand, doesn’t diet. “I'm lucky, I can eat any kind of food.”

And if activity is the formula for longevity… “I used to be a basketball player in school, and whenever there was a free throw, it was up to me, and I used to get it.”

He watches his diet, exercises, takes care of himself physically and medically and… “and that's about it, just take care of myself physically and medically, too.”

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