Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

100 Years…and More!


By Karen Buchanan, Friendship Manor Assistant Administrator

100 years ago, the world was recovering from the Spanish Flu Pandemic. Life expectancy was less than 55 years here in the United States, thanks in most part to heart disease, pneumonia, and tuberculosis. The automobile industry was newly born, alcohol was prohibited in the USA, and women had just won the right to vote.

And thirteen of our residents at Friendship Manor had just been born or were toddlers.

Before I started working at Friendship Manor, I had a picture in my mind of what it would look like to be 100 years old; the picture wasn’t pretty. I didn’t aspire to reach such an age. Too scary, too hard, too much dependence on others. What I’ve seen among our centenarians has given me another perspective.

We have a delightful young lady I’ll call “A”—she’s a tiny ball of energy, still clear as a bell. Her late husband seemed to be twice her size, and what I remember from her 100th year was the perk in her step and the smile on her face as she pushed his wheelchair on their way to dinner. She’s 103 now and my encounters with her in our halls always make my day, sending me off with a fresh bounce in my step and smile on my face.

Another resident I’ll call “E” is 105 years old, still playing bridge; no matter what time of day I encounter her, I notice how her lipstick and shoes match her outfit.

A resident I’ll call “W” is also 105; when he was already 100 years old I had the privilege of watching while he opened up another resident’s piano to give it a good tuning. His words, his tone, his carriage—everything about him makes any room he inhabits a classier, better place.

Recently we held a lovely outdoor luncheon to honor all our centenarians; our staff had asked them for a nugget of wisdom to be shared in the program. These were a picture of the priorities and attitudes gained over the decades.

“Accept everything.”
“Try not to let tomorrow take over today.”  
“Success to life is prayer and good jokes.”  
“It’s easier to think positive.”
“Always eat dessert.”  
“I am most thankful for my health, my faith, and my family.”
“Whatever happens, you have to rise above it.”  
“Enjoy the moments.”  
“I attribute my long life to my love of music, good friendships, love of family, and always having a pet in my life.”
“Do a lot of walking and eat your fruits and vegetables.”
“There is always time for good music.” 

This one made me laugh:  “I think it’s time I settle down.”

And this one was unsolicited, but has been said often by the resident in question during her 17 years in residence: “Moving to the Manor was the best decision I ever made.”

Questions about Friendship Manor? Call 309-786-9667 and ask for marketing.