Had Charles Toogood s family waited a month longer to sail toNorth America, he might never have seen age three, let alone 103.But they didn t and it was ultimately the Lusitania, not theill-fated Titanic, that brought him to Canada from England, via NewYork, in March 1912. It s just one of many great stories shared by the Second World Warveteran, who s among the sharply rising number of centenariansacross the country, according to 2011 census data released Tuesdayby Statistics Canada. Last year s national headcount showed there were 5,825 people inCanada aged 100 or older, a total that s up by about 1,200 sincethe 2006 census and by more than 2,000 since 2001. If there s a secret to becoming a super senior, Toogood seemsa good one to ask; the Edmonton man can rattle off names, dates anddetails of decades-old events as if they occurred yesterday.
Hehappily shares what he believes to be the linchpin to hislongevity: the love of a good woman. We were married six weeks short of 75 years, he says of wifeNan, who passed away in 2007. I give her credit for keeping megoing . .
She was a super cook. She was a super everything. The five-year growth rate for the very oldest cohort of Canadianswas a whopping 25.7 per cent and forecasts point to a continuousclimb in the centenarian population for the next half-century,reaching 78,300 by the time the 1961 crest of the Baby Boom wavereaches age 100 in 2061. That projected national total would equal the current population ofPeterborough, Ont., which also happens to have a higher proportionof senior citizens (19.5 per cent) than any city in Canada,according to the 2011 census. Neodymium Ring Magnets
Notably, about 84 per cent of those reaching the century mark inCanada are women not a huge surprise given the significantlyhigher life expectancy among the country s female population. Saskatchewan, with 31 centenarians per 100,000 residents, has byfar the highest proportion of 100-year-olds in the country almost double the national average (17.4 per 100,000) and nearly ashigh as world-leading Japan (36.8 per 100,000), famous for thelongevity of its citizenry. While living to age 100 is tremendous feat, very few centenariansreach 105 just six per cent of the 5,825 people in Canada scentury club. Mortality rates above age 100 are quite high, states a summaryof the census findings. Sintered SmCo Magnets Manufacturer
Among those aged exactly 100 whoaccount for 40 per cent of all centenarians only about 60 percent will reach the age of 101. Donald H. Paterson, research director of the Canadian Centre forActivity and Aging, notes that although absolute numbers ofcentenarians are increasing, the data suggest there aren t agreat many more centenarians per capita of older people than inprevious eras. Furthermore, actually achieving centenarian status remains somewhatof a medical puzzle. For instance, while Toogood eschewed smokingand drinking his entire life, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother who lived to 101 was estimated to have consumed five times therecommended weekly amount of alcohol for a woman. China Arc NdFeB Magnets
I think there s something about the way in which these peoplesee life a joie de vivre, says Andrew Wister, chair ofgerontology at Simon Fraser University in B.C. But apart fromfinding the Elixir of Life, it does seem as though there are a fewcommon factors. He says some of these include committing to physical activitythroughout life; maintaining a good diet (often a Mediterraneanone, characterized by fish, olive oil, veggies and red wine);having a web of social support; and simply coming from good stock. Indeed, recent research suggests genes only influence our chance ofliving to 85 by 20 to 30 per cent, but have greatly increasedimportance when it comes to reaching the years beyond. John Elock, who turns 100 in July, is a prime example: both hisfather and grandfather lived to see their late 90s, while his ownhealth remains excellent.
The secret? No wine, women or song, says Elock, a resident ofthe Kipnes Centre for Veterans in Edmonton. To which his daughter, Judi, promptly adds with a laugh: Butthere was rum in there, dad! Twitter.com/popcultini.