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A collage of photos of Revera residents who shared their thoughts

Ringing in the New Year with centenarian good cheer!

Centenarian resolutions and secrets to living past 100

Happy Holidays. As we get ready to say goodbye to 2022, most of us focus on resetting, renewing, and revising our resolutions. After all, a new year brings new goals, new life, and a new focus. Every year around this time, when the clock strikes midnight, we read about the newest babies of the year. This tradition symbolizes hope, optimism, and a sense of wonder for the coming year.

At Revera, we also like to celebrate new life; however, we can’t help but marvel at another human achievement - that of a long life well lived. With that, to ring in 2023, let’s give a cheer to our centenarians and celebrate the incredible seniors living among us. Many of Revera’s residents have rung in the New Year more than 100 times in their lifetime, and that is something extraordinary to celebrate.

We sat down with a handful of Revera’s resident centenarians, as well as our very own Chief Elder Officer, Hazel McCallion, who will turn 102 this February, and asked them about their New Year’s resolutions and secrets to living a long, healthy life. We spoke with 10 of the nearly 230 centenarians currently living at Revera retirement homes across the country and captured their most insightful responses.

What are their secrets? Is it something in the water? Turns out, the recipe for a long, happy, and healthy life might be less complicated than that. For our residents, it’s not about making and keeping resolutions, it’s about attitude and outlook, regular activity and socialization all year long, plus a dose of good genes. Here’s what Revera’s centenarians told us:

Are you the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions? Do you have any resolutions for 2023?

Hazel McCallion, 101, Chief Elder Officer, Revera

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. When I do it’s usually about settling an issue that is going on. There are so many people less fortunate than me in the world. When I make a resolution it’s to try to do something to help people. And there are so many negative things on TV, except the Leafs, they are a bright spot. They are winning a lot so that’s something positive.

Francis, age 103, Revera Inglewood Retirement Residence, Red Deer, Alberta

I make resolutions, but I don’t keep them. For 2023, I’m going to get up and walk…without any help.

Mary, age 104, Revera Lynwood Park Retirement Residence, Nepean, Ontario

I used to make some when I was younger but was never serious about following through, so I don’t see much point. Lots of people do, but I haven’t found too many people who stick to them.

Dorothy, age 100, Revera Chatham Retirement Resort, Chatham, Ontario

I'm not the type of person to make resolutions for the new year. I believe in being kind and doing good all year long!

Jean “Jean Machine”, age 100, Revera Beechwood Retirement Residence, Mississauga, Ontario

I don’t have any New Year’s resolutions other than health and happiness for myself and everyone I love.

As a centenarian, do you have any tips or advice for people to live a long, healthy, productive life?

Hazel McCallion, age 101, Chief Elder Officer, Revera

For me it’s about staying active and eating a healthy diet. I eat lots of vegetables and fruit. I’m eating less meat and more fish. I ate a lot of fish when I was young growing up in Gaspé, so that helped build my foundation.

I also try to stay positive in my thinking and live a life of purpose. I have a lot of activities that keep me going and I try to make a contribution each and every day.

Jean, age 100, Revera Beechwood Retirement Residence, Mississauga, Ontario

My tips for anyone looking to reach 100 are walk every day, exercise and eat properly.

Mary, age 104, Revera Lynwood Park Retirement Residence, Nepean, Ontario

Keep learning and travel as much as you can.

Beverley, age 100, Revera Barrhaven Retirement Residence, Ottawa, Ontario

I have an occasional glass of wine with spaghetti and meatballs, which doesn’t hurt. And don’t smoke.

David, age 100, Revera Glynnwood Retirement Residence, Thornhill, Ontario

Be active as much as possible and live for the day. My wife and I spent many years travelling the world and we are very fortunate that we were able to do that.

Francis, age 103, Revera Inglewood Retirement Residence, Red Deer, Alberta

Keep your nose out of other people’s affairs and keep busy. Learn to say no and get along with everyone.

Frank, age 102, Revera Crofton Manor, Vancouver, British Columbia

(Chuckling) I never thought that I would live this long. It's not something that I planned for.

Dorothy, age 100, Revera Chatham Retirement Resort, Chatham, Ontario

Having a good attitude and being thankful/grateful for what you have, is some advice I have for those who want to live long, healthy lives. Wake up each morning with the expectation that it will be a good day. You have the choice!

What activities, hobbies and recreation do you most enjoy doing now?

Beverley, age 100, Revera Barrhaven Retirement Residence, Ottawa, Ontario

I enjoy my knitting and crocheting, and I belong to a group called the “Knit Wits”, who create various items for the Salvation Army. I enjoy meeting people and I like the occasional movie on TV. I also enjoy taking tours and going into the country for drives.

David, age 100, Revera Glynnwood Retirement Residence, Thornhill, Ontario

My wife and I have been lawn bowling for over 42 years!

Frank, age 102, Revera Crofton Manor, Vancouver, British Columbia

I like talking to my family on the telephone, reading, and going to classical concerts.

Jean, age 100, Revera Beechwood Retirement Residence, Mississauga, Ontario

One of Revera’s more vibrant residents, Jean, loves our Active Living programs, and consistently comes in first place in her favourite games like bowling, beanbag toss, ladder ball, Mölkky (a Finnish throwing game), bocce ball, and any other sport you could think of!

How long have you lived at Revera, and what is the typical highlight of your week at your Revera home?

Dorothy, age 100, Revera Chatham Retirement Resort, Chatham, Ontario

I have lived at Revera for 11 years and counting. My highlight is the friendly staff and residents. Everyone is always smiling, and they go above and beyond to help me with anything that I need every day!

Beverley, age 100, Revera Barrhaven Retirement Residence, Ottawa, Ontario

I have been living here for seven years. I enjoy activities that are historical in nature, and I like reminiscing about New Edinburgh (an area near Ottawa) where I grew up. I have an interest in anything military, war songs, and the Phantom of the Opera, plus music by the Four Tenors, Josh Groban, and music from down east.

Francis, age 103, Revera Inglewood Retirement Residence, Red Deer, Alberta

I have lived at Revera since April 2018 and was recently excited to welcome my new great-great grandson born on December 12.

Frank, age 102, Revera Crofton Manor, Vancouver, British Columbia

I have lived at Revera for four years. I’m amused by all the things that the staff do to keep us engaged. They do a good job at keeping everyone happy.

Mary, age 104, Revera Lynwood Park Retirement Residence, Nepean, Ontario

I celebrated my ninth year at Lynwood Park in August. It really feels like home. I enjoy the entertainment and our monthly tea parties best.

Jean “Jean Machine”, age 100, Revera Beechwood Retirement Residence, Mississauga, Ontario

I have been at The Beechwood for eight years and look forward to the parties.

Note from the staff at Revera Beechwood: We love "Jean Machine" and look forward to celebrating 101 with her in January!

 

A special thank you and Happy New Year to all the wonderful centenarians who shared their experience and wisdom to help us all kickoff 2023!

 

Collage of Photos:
Left column: David, Jean, Mary
Middle: Beverly, Edward, Hazel, Frank
Right: Dorothy, Jacob, Francis