Loma Linda, CA: Where Older People Stay Young
We’ve all read stories about places where people never grow up. They stay young, strong, healthy, and always alive. Just last month, NBC raked in millions of viewers with its new take on the venerable Peter Pan.
Neverland is as good an example as any of the enduring fantasy of living like a young person for a very long time.
But what if it were real?
“The Today Show” recently featured a little town called Loma Linda, CA on its TODAY Health website. They say the place might have found the elusive “secrets of longevity.”
Less than an hour outside of Los Angeles, Loma Linda is home to a thriving population of elderly people who seem almost unaware that they are of old age. Many of them maintain social lives and daily routines that would make a twenty-something’s head spin.
Take 90-year-old Thelma Johnson, for instance. When she’s not cruising around the world with her friends, she and her husband hit the jogging trail or the gym every single day.
She isn’t alone. Indeed, that kind of schedule is par for the course in Loma Linda.
“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do,” Johnson said in the “Today” interview. What a way to approach old age!
Of course, Loma Linda isn’t the only bustling blip on the map for older people. National Geographic recently released its list of the five places in the world where people live the longest. Japan, Italy, Greece, and Costa Rica what is the 5th? each have one of these so-called “Blue Zones,” all of them home to incredible vitality in an ever-aging population. But Loma Linda remains the only “Blue Zone” in the U.S.
That said, there are smaller elderly communities scattered all throughout America where people are finding that old age isn’t the limitation it once was.
Loma Linda is a perfect illustration of how rapidly we’re all evolving in our understanding of what it means to “grow old” in the 21st Century.
As Peter Pan might say someday, even in older age, life is still an awfully big adventure.