Centenarians share their secrets to long life

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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 11:30 am

BRADENTON, Fla. -- A rare event on the Suncoast Wednesday as thirteen centenarians in one facility celebrated birthdays.

How long do you want to live? 70? 80? How about in the triple digits? And what drives some to keep going? Is it family, health, or just a love of life.

“I'm a hundred and a half; don’t forget the half.” Delma Deadwyler is one of thirteen people at Westminster Towers celebrating more than a hundred years of life each.

But what’s the secret to longevity?

“They number one ate prunes every day of their lives. Number two, took what was difficult, turned it into something beneficial.” Nursing home administrator Kathleen Sylvia says everyone has challenges, but these folks seem to embrace it, handle it and keep going.

“I used to think that I knew a lot when I was younger, but I found out that I had a lot to learn.” 100-year-old Britta Adams says a positive outlook on things helps when you live a long time, and she keeps herself occupied. “I mostly play cards, I guess. I play bridge, that's my favorite game.”

Deadwyler, a former registered nurse, is 100. She is a woman of faith and says she worked hard, enjoyed it all, and continues to indulge her creative side. “I started at 94 painting.”

Harry Mills was the only man celebrating a 100 years at the Westminster Towers party. We asked him how he likes having all those women around him. “Oh that's very nice, very nice.”

But what’s the secret to joining the centenarians club? We suspect 100-year-old Winnie Pattison has a wild streak. “Only the good die young. And I told my doctor that and he told me I’m going to live to be a hundred and fifty.”

101-year-old Mamie Crawford, a former stylist and salon owner, still has a passion for fashion and offers sound advice on long life. “Make up your mind what you’re going to do to take care of you.”

She enjoys giving of herself. “I could do anything to help anyone else.”

103-year-old Emma Newell says you deal with difficult times. “Just like everyone else, you solve them in some way.”

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