Norwich man offers health tips as he celebrates his 100th birthday

December 26, 2011 by  

Norwich resident Frank Ulasik is living proof that age is only a number. Family and friends joined the proud centenarian recently for a birthday breakfast at the Rose City Senior Center. Postcard printing birthday greetings may suffice for the younger set, but turning 100 is arguably worthy of banner printing birthday wishes.

Ulasik said he was surprised to see how many people turned out for his 100th birthday party; an age only about 72,000 people in the to see. Stop smoking and drinking if you want to live to be 100, advised Ulasik. Taking things one day a time, helps too, he added. The World War II veteran continues to drive and only recently quit bowling.

If the number of Americans who make it to the 100 mark continues to rise at its current rate, nearly one million people age 100 and over could be living in the U.S. by 2050. Current estimates put the total number of centenarians worldwide at about 450,000. Census data may not be entirely accurate since many older adults live in remote areas where census data is typically unavailable.

The notion of living to be 100 continues to intrigue laypeople and scientists alike. Researchers working at the New England Centenarian Project at Boston University Medical Center are aiming to find 100 of the estimated 1,500 centenarians in Massachusetts to donate blood. The samples would aid in the development of DNA technology that might help the medical community learn why certain people are able to avoid cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and other potentially deadly conditions.