#TheYearThatWas: Seniors continue to amaze and inspire


  • People
  • Monday, 29 Dec 2014

Cedar Crest Continuing Care Retirement Community calendar image

The elderly made their mark in different ways.

Bold grandmas  

If firefighters can strip down for a calendar, so can a group of bold seniors!

Instead of participating in the usual bake sale, elderly women from a retirement community in the United States stripped down for a 2015 charity calendar for a good cause. These gals are residents at Cedar Crest Continuing Care Retirement Community in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. 

They all pitched in to raise funds for their peers with financial difficulties who can’t afford to reside at the facility. 

Ms December, Ann Weber-Greenfields, 94, poses for the calendar holding a teddy bear and wearing a Santa hat. Ms September, Norma Spero, 85, puts a finger to her lips as a cue for silence as she dodges behind a pile of books in the library.

Their bravado was certainly worth the effort: The stint raised US$8,000 (RM28,124) in three weeks! By the way, each calendar sold for US$10 (RM35.20).

Best countries for the elderly

Norway is the best country for seniors, apparently.

The Global AgeWatch Index 2014 has come up with a Top 10 list of the best countries in the world to grow old in. 

Norway wins top honours while New Zealand rounds off the list in 10th place, in an international assessment by researchers from HelpAge International and the University of Southampton.

It was reported that the list assessed and ranked 96 countries based on the social and economic well-being of the elderly. Senior citizens over 60 years of age represent 90% of the world’s population. 

Researchers predicted that the global population of senior citizens will increase from 12% to more than 20% by 2050. The top 10 countries are ranked as following: Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Iceland, the United States, Japan and New Zealand.

Japanese supercentenarians

On Aug 21, former high school principal Sakari Momoi, born Feb 5, 1903, hogged world headlines after he was recognised as the world’s oldest male. 

Born in Minamisoma, Fukushima, and now 111 years old, Momoi assumed the position after American Alexander Imich, older than him by a day, passed away on June 8.

Momoi now resides in Saitama, north of Tokyo, and said he intends to live for two more years. He enjoys reading books and watching sumo on television.

Oldest marathon runner

The world’s oldest marathon runner, Fauja Singh, ran his last race at the Hong Kong marathon’s 10km run on Nov 2. The Indian-born Fauja is 101 years old.

He finished the race in one hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds.

Centurian marathon runner Fauja Singh (middle) takes part in the Mumbai Marathon on Jan20, 2013. Thousands of people turned out on a cool morning to take part in the annual race in the Indian city. — AFP 

Nicknamed the Turbaned Torpedo, he ran his first marathon when he was 89 and has since competed in runs all over the world. But the former farmer announced that he would retire from running after this race.

He took up running to overcome depression after the demise of his wife and son, and the great-grandfather was 100 when he became the oldest man to run a full marathon in Toronto in 2011.


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