The current life expectancy according to the Centers for Disease Control is about 79-years of age. But on Monday, Iowans celebrated those who beat the odds and live to see the age of 100.
Hazel Ventline doesn`t see herself as a centenarian. Ventline says, “Oh no, I never think about my age. I always tell people I’m in my second childhood.”
She may be 105, but her daughter Sharon Goben says she acts like a lively 70 year-old. Goben says, “I don`t think she even thinks about herself being that old. I mean she realizes she is and to say, ‘oh I can`t do that this because I’m 100 plus.’ I don`t think that even enters her mind.”
Monday. she was honored as a member of an exclusive club for Iowans over the age of 100.
Melvin Coil will be 101 in a couple days. His niece, Marilyn Mobley says he`s been looking forward to this ceremony for months now. Mobley says, “He was up at 2 o`clock this morning or awake at 2 o`clock ready to come.”
There may be just 25 centenarians here today, but the Iowa Department of Aging says the population of elderly Iowans is on the rise.
Iowa Department of Aging’s Linda Hildreth says, “Not a lot of people make it to age 100 or over and plus we`re just respecting your elders. Again you know they`ve made the way for us and it`s just the right thing to do and it`s celebrating them, where they have come from and what they have done for us.”
Iowa ranks third in the nation for number of centenarians per capita.
They all have different answers as to how they`ve made it this far. But they all agree they wouldn`t be here today if it weren`t for the love and support they`ve gotten from their friends and family.