Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey
Guests: Elsa Hoffmann and Sharon Textor-Black
Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
Only a third of Americans want to live to 100. Why? They imagine that living to 100 means being in a nursing home, crippled with arthritis, your mind destroyed by Alzheimer’s, and the highlight of your day-nursing home food. That is a possibility, but certainly not a necessity. Today we are going to talk with 101 year old Elsa Hoffman and her granddaughter/biographer Sharon Textor-Black on how living to 100 can be fabulous.
What makes Elsa such a vital person at 101? The genetic lottery probably accounts for about 25% of her success. Let me cite four other factors that contribute to her longevity:
- There are hundreds of studies that indicate optimists live longer, healthier, happier lives. Elsa is an absolute master at optimism. Sharon sees Elsa’s childhood as Prussian. Elsa sees her childhood as great lessons in discipline and attention to detail. While Elsa wanted to be a teacher, she sees her father’s insistence on business school having served her very well.
- One of the most difficult challenges in living a long life is dealing with the death of friends and family. Even the death of her son and her beloved husband didn’t throw her for very long. She has a view of death that it is a natural event and leads to an even better place. Further, for those who are suffering in pain, as her son did, it is a reprieve from suffering.
- She has a sense of purpose. Her purpose is to draw others out, help people connect, and help people feel better. For a couple of decades she and her husband ran a resort in Florida. It was a place where no one was a stranger and guests gathered around the piano for singing. Nothing makes her happier than to connect people. If that weren’t purpose enough, she has always done a lot of charitable and funding raising. I also note she has a wide variety of interests and activities-including travel, cards, baking, and reading. The variety helps keep the interests fresh and by having a variety, if one activity becomes unavailable, she has several others to keep life enjoyable.
- She takes care of herself, with eating well, walking, getting good health care, and being prudent with money. There are two aspects of taking care of herself that are a matter of style rather than necessity. She finds dressing well and always looking good helps her feel good about herself and shows respect to others. She also doesn’t mind acknowledging that she has had a-one-facelift-because she wants to look her best