Aging With Grace: A 100-Year-Old Woman Shares Her Tips On How To Overcome Dementia
Dementia is common among baby boomers.
According to American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), after 65, the risk of developing dementia doubles every 5 years, and at 85 or above, 25% - 50% of the elderly suffer from dementia.
It is safe to say the probability of avoiding dementia is about the same as a coin toss. However, one woman beat those odds to live a happy, healthy, and dementia-free life.
Felimina Rotundo, 'Minnie', was that woman from Buffalo, NY.
She has passed away 2 years ago at the ripe old age of 101, on September 9, 2016.
Minnie is remembered fondly as a symbol of strength and gained recognition as a result of her dedication and work ethic.
What makes Felimina Rotundo so different?
At an age where many of her peers were content to wake up every morning, Felimina was working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday.
This spunky grandma couldn't just sit still at home and do nothing. She worked at the College Laundry Shop on Main Street in Buffalo, washing clothes and cleaning for the college neighborhood, day in day out, for about 40 years.
What's interesting, however, is that she started working at the age of 15! In an interview with USA Today in 2015, she said:
I grew up during the Depression when things were really bad, and you had to go to work at 15. You know, it does something to you. It makes you grow up fast.
Minnie had no history of dementia or any major health issues and advised her peers to “get out and do some work".
Research data proves she is right
Her advice has merit. Evidently, it worked for her, and its benefits have been backed by recent research.
In her 2016 annual report, England’s Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Dame Sally Davies, suggested older people continue working past the retirement age as well as continue being active in their communities. She said:
Staying in work, volunteering or joining a community group can make sure people stay physically and mentally active for longer. The health benefits of this should not be underestimated.
Research points towards social isolation as a major factor in causing dementia in the elderly, so by engaging with the community and remaining physically active, baby boomers stand a higher chance of overcoming the dementia.
The body and mind get weaker as we age; however, just like Felimina Rotundo suggested, going to do some work to keep dementia away is just what the doctor ordered.
Do you know or have heard of any senior who was actively working after 85 years? Please share your thoughts with us.