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Live to 100: Number of centenarians has doubled

By Jen Christensen and Val Willingham CNN | 6/4/2014, 11:11 a.m.
It is Her Majesty's custom to send a personal greeting to her subjects on their 100th birthdays. These days the ...
Ann Nixon Cooper, 107, watched the inauguration from her Atlanta home with three grandsons and her caretaker. She said seeing a black man sworn in as president is one of the greatest moments of her life. I'm most excited about it -- just nothing but the greatest, she said. Obama had praised Cooper for her heroism during his victory speech in November. Photo by Tristan Smith/CNN.

"But when you look at centenarians, that really is an expanding group, and the important thing is to get their advance directives, to make sure these people express how they want to be treated in their later years, so they can live a better quality of life and be more comfortable. Where do they want to live, how do they want to live and what's best for them?"

Because of advances made in medical technology, and the fact many people entering their golden years are more health-conscious than ever before, Adelman says it's time society takes the elderly, including centenarians, seriously because this older age group will continue to grow and need care.

"To be honest, 65 is no longer old," noted Adelman. "Ten thousand Americans are turning 65 every day. There are 77 million baby boomers, who were born between 1946 and 1964. They are more educated, they have the best health literacy than prior generations, they exercise, they eat right and they are living longer, healthier lives.

"We need to be able to provide them the best care and services possible, as they age into their 80s, 90s and beyond."

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