Farmers Almanac
The Farmers Almanac
BUY The 2018 Almanac NOW!

How Old is Old?

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Add to Google+ Share on Pinterest Subscribe by Email Print This Post

With the start of a New Year, many of us resolve to lose weight, stay or get fit, and to stop smoking, all things that may help lead to a long and healthy life. While these resolutions are often hard to stick to, any adjustment you make towards living a healthier lifestyle is a step in the right direction.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have longevity in our families. My grandmother (paternal side) was the only grandparent I knew. She lived to be 89, but to me always seemed “old”. Fast forward, my mother will be 91 this month and shows no signs of letting up or giving up. She maintains a house, drives, hangs out with a much younger crowd and has a zest for life. Admittedly, her social life puts mine to shame.

It is not unusual to see many deaths in the obituaries for folks in their early, mid or upper 90s. My Dad’s Almanac sidekick, Ken Conner, was lifting weights at a gym at 96 and passed at 99 1/2…. never ill. But what about the super old – those over 100. In the past month I have read about Jiroemon Kimura of Japan – the oldest person on earth born April 19, 1897. In the US, Dina Manfredini of Iowa passed at 115. This weekend, it was reported that Mamie Readen of South Carolina passed away at 114 years after holding the oldest title for 2 solid weeks.

The oldest all time person was Jeanne Louise Calment of France who mastered 122 + 164 days on this earth. Yikes. In the 1997 Farmers’ Almanac, we looked for the secrets of living 100 and beyond. Included in the article was Fred Hale of Maine., At the time he was 105 years of age. He still shoveled snow off his roof until 103 and only gave up his license at 108 (a world record). I spoke at an elder luncheon with  Fred in the room when he was 107. But, his greatest accomplishment was living to the ripe old, old age of 113 (12 days shy on his next birthday).

(Continued Below)

OK – some people live long enough to set a record. We strive to lose weight, stay fit and stop smoking. But, how long do you and I want to live? Is it OK to be 100 and if so, under what conditions. Fred left Maine for Syracuse, NY, to live near his 85 year old son after cataract operations at 109 and 110. In my case, when I was 7 years old, my Dad started to drop hints about editing the Farmers’ Almanac. His best selling point was that no editor ever died before the age of 86. That sounded reasonable then and it still does. But, what is your life long goal?? Assuming good health, how long do you want to live?

Articles you might also like...


1 Pat Peace Gula { 06.26.15 at 12:03 pm }

My grandmother lived to 108, active and in good humor; living alternately with 3 daughters. I am 90, in good health with helpful advice of a naturopath. I drive locally and live independently in a small villa. My goal is to stay healthy and be able to live in the villa with some support from my son who lives 10 minutes away. No upper age goals at all.

2 Julian graham { 06.26.13 at 10:47 am }

I certainly definitely and working on living to be at least 100 or more I love life, i walk every morning for an hour to add a few more beats to my heart, i am very careful of what i eat, never drink alcohol, never smoke, and cuts down on stress its great to be alive!

3 Diane O'Donnell { 01.13.13 at 1:42 pm }

I would be happy to live up to 100,in full health without requiring to swallow pills and depending on other people to do so.Actually,I know, most others don’t want to live forever, but I would be happy to give it a go!!!
My goal is to live one day at a time,and if today I’m healthy and having fun, I’ll want to live until tomorrow!!

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

Spring Is Here – Sign Up Today!

The Farmers' Almanac is a gardener's best friend. Get 365 days of access to our online weather and gardening calendars + a copy of the 2017 Almanac
for only $13.99 $11.99!

Subscribe Today »