Lessons From Centenarians

Centenarians garner lots of attention. People always want to know their secret to longevity or ‘how they did it.’

But, often, there’s actually a lot more to centenarians than their long years. Many of them, for example, left significant imprints on society and helped make the world a better place through their unique contributions and wisdom.

elderly man watching sunset

So lessons from centenarians are more than just about living to a ripe-old-age. They’re also about learning to fill those days meaningfully.

In this post we’ll discuss 2 contemporary centenarians and a bit on how they influenced our world in order to see which lessons we can learn from them.

Beatrice Wright

Beatrice Wright, a psychologist, was born in December of 1917 in New York.

Her most prominent work is a book on disability, published in 1983: “Physical Disability – A Psychosocial Approach.” Though, it originally appeared in 1960 under the title “Physical Disability – A Psychological Approach.”

According to her obituary (July 31, 2018), Wright “redefined the field of rehabilitation” with these books. And in 2016 she was awarded “the American Psychologist Gold Medal for life achievement in psychology in the public interest.”

Wright emphasized the psychosocial aspect of disability. Knowing the importance of social connections, how can you socially help your loved one with their rehabilitation process?

William Frankland

Another influential centenarian is William Frankland. Dr. Frankland, a British allergist, was born in March of 1912.

He is famous for popularizing the pollen count, which helps people understand how different seasons affect their allergies.1

He also published a number of notable papers, including the findings of a study of vaccines used in the treatment of asthma, which was published when he was just a junior registrar.

Dr. Frankland is still active at age 106 and even published a paper in 2017!

Frankland taught us to notice the effect of the environment on our allergies. So how about the effect of the environment on our wellbeing? In what way can you make sure your loved one’s environment promotes their health?

Everyday Heroes

There are many other noteworthy centenarians who we can learn a thing or two from. But accomplishments don’t only come in the form of groundbreaking innovations or life-changing insights.

We can get inspiration from the happy residents at Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation too who continue to lead marvelous lives and glean some nuggets from their wealth of wisdom and experience.

What are some of the lessons from centenarians (or from anyone you consider elderly) that you’ve learned?

Please share in the comments below.


1 http://wwwf.imperial.ac.uk/blog/imperial-medicine/2018/09/19/grandfather-of-allergy-dr-william-frankland-the-106-year-old-doctor/

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