Today's nonagenarians are surviving into very old age with better mental performance than ever before.
People born in 1915 scored higher in cognitive tests in their 90s compared with those born a decade earlier, according to a study in The Lancet. Better living standards and intellectual stimulation may be key factors.
The number of people reaching very old age is on the rise globally. In the US, for example, the amount of people aged 90 or above has more than doubled in 30 years. In Denmark, where the study took place, the chance of surviving into the 10th decade of life has gone up by about 30% each decade for people born in 1895, 1905 and 1915.
Source: http://www.genarians.com/ A few names from the Hall of Fame:
American actor and comedian, TV's "Texaco Star Theater"
07/12/1908 – 03/27/2002
Russian-born American songwriter, "God Bless America", "White Christmas"
05/11/1888 – 09/22/1989
Danish-born American pianist and humorist
01/03/1909 – 12/23/2000
British queen consort, wife of King George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II
08/04/1900 – 03/30/2002
American actor and comedian, stage partner and spouse of Gracie Allen
01/20/1896 – 03/09/1996
In England, the National Health has made every effort to adapt people's homes so they can remain there as long as possible. My own flat has been converted to help me with daily life. The shower is now walk-in with a fold down seat and handrails fitted. Handgrips and rails are within easy reach outside the doors, front and back as well as along the slope into the garden. If I can remain in my home, I'll happily work on my computer to write novels, therefore maintaining mental stimulation.
My neighbor will turn 90 this year. He practices yoga, has recently qualified in psychology, and plays a weekly game of tennis. I've mentioned before my intention of writing a book based on his life, which is filled with trauma, adventure and intrigue. His body might be slowing to fit in with his white hair, but his mind is sharp.