My Uncle Bernie is 105 Years Old

As a trust and estates lawyer, I’ve worked on a lot of estates over my 30 plus years in practice. Only a handful of the decedents, mostly clients for which I drafted their Wills and Trusts, reached between age 100 and 102. None have reached age 105. You may be wondering if his current quality-of-life is so minimized by the usual age-related maladies or illnesses that typically ravages the body with age, but such is really not the case. While he can’t do many of the things he used to do, he still lives independently in his two-bedroom condominium in Pembroke Pines, Florida. He does have an aide that visits him six days a week for several hours a day and takes him grocery and pharmacy shopping and to doctors appointments. He keeps up on the news, can regularly hold a telephone conversation in excess of 30 minutes, and can vividly remember and discuss events from his childhood, service during World War II, various trips he’s taken around the world, things that have happened in the various jobs he had over the years, and the love of his life and wife for 76 years, Sylvia, who passed away in 2016. In terms of longevity in his family, his father died of a heart attack at age 60 but his mother died in a nursing home age 96. That said, I believe his longevity is attributed to his lifestyle and lifestyle choices of which I believe there were many good choices made, some unconsciously, and taking them in their totality, have brought him to this major milestone. I have made the following observations, not in any particular order, which I believe led him to this where he is today:

  1. He met and married his wife relatively early in life so that even when he was in service for the air force during World War II, he had his best friend and companion by his side. I never saw them argue or fight.
  2. He lived within in his means so that he never seemed to worry about money.
  3. He regularly exercised. Long into his retirement he would swim in the pool and walk around the 1.3 mile circle of the community “rain or shine and regardless of the temperature”. Where I grew up, and before it was fashionable, I do not recall seeing any of my friends parents regularly exercise like he did.
  4. He worked around the house doing various chores.
  5. He never smoked.
  6. He was not a drinker. He would have a drink or glass of wine at family gatherings but never to excess.
  7. He had no other addictions such as gambling which might add stress to his life.
  8. He loves to laugh and hear funny stories and tell funny stories.
  9. While there may have been times when things made him mad, he was not an angry person.
  10. He is surprisingly liberal in his views. He is not one of those racist uncles comically portrayed on Saturday Night Live that would rant at Thanksgiving dinners.
  11. He watches everything he eats and never over eats. He was always slim and never carried around any excess weight.
  12. When he learned he had high cholesterol, he took a statin drug as prescribed. When he learned he had high blood pressure, he took blood pressure medication as prescribed. He believes in science. He had his COVID vaccinations and booster.
  13. He goes to all his doctors appointments and has everything checked regularly.
  14. He drove his car until age 100 when he decided that was long enough.
  15. As part of his regular diet, he takes pro-biotics. He learned about that on a program on public TV many years ago.