We have so much information at our fingertips. It is cliché, but the internet has literally brought the world to our doorstep. Even the most obscure detail on the most obscure topic can be accessed in just seconds. If you want to know how many times a frog blinks while it’s hopping from lily pad to lily pad or the name of Frank Sinatra’s first grade teacher, just “Google it” and you’ll get your answer almost immediately. It is a wondrous and convenient mode of research that has simplified the lives of many who otherwise would still be spending hours at the library, poring over books and reference materials (not that there’s anything wrong with that, to quote the “Seinfeld” show).
It has enabled me to share the following snippets of information which otherwise, I, too, would have spent hours researching. In a short amount of time, I discovered the following diverse and interesting facts:
- President John F.Kennedy designated May as Senior Citizens month in 1963 after meeting with the National Council of Senior Citizens. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation changing the name to Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate people who are 65 and older;
- There are currently an estimated 9.1 million seniors over 65 who are military veterans;
- Seniors who have had shingles are not likely to get them again, regardless of vaccination status;
- In 2010, there were 6.7 million people aged 65 and older in the labor force. This number will double to 11.1 million in 2018;
- Only about 30% of the characteristics of aging are genetically determined. The other 70% are linked to lifestyle;
- Strawberry and blueberry consumption has been linked to slower rates of memory loss because they are high in flavonoids. Flavanoids are powerful antioxidants that fight aging and disease. Women who had a higher berry intake delayed their memory decline by 2 1/2 years;
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a woman who reaches 50 years of age and remains free of cancer and heart disease can expect to live to 91. An average, healthy 65-year old male will most likely live to 81;
- Fauja Singh, 101 years old, just participated in the 2012 London Virgin Marathon;
- In the year 2025, the number of Americans over 65 will outnumber teenagers;
- Florida has the highest percentage of seniors (17.3%) followed by West Virginia, Maine, Pennsylvania and Iowa;
- The favorite sports activity among seniors is walking and ranks first before exercising with equipment, net fishing, camping, golf and swimming;
- The National Institute for Health projects that by the year 2040, the average life expectancy for men will be 86 and for women, it will be 91.5;
- Exercise is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill. (Our Rehabilitation Department heartily attests to this!) People who are physically fit, eat healthy foods and take nutritional supplements can measure out to be 10-20 years biologically younger than their actual chronological age.
So, there you go. Access to facts, fiction or whatever one chooses is there for the taking. Whether you want to find out what time the local pool opens on the weekend or the color of Harry Potter’s favorite sweater, just “Google it.”