As an aging Baby Boomer, I think about growing old a lot. As I see my youth slip farther away in the rearview mirror, I ponder the future and wonder what lies on the road ahead. I am struck by the disconnect between what I thought aging would be like and what it actually is. How many of us can say that 40 or 50 or 60 is what you thought it would feel like? The body ages, but the spirit remains the same.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Connecticut’s total population grew by 4.9% in the last decade. But the fastest growing segment of that total is the 85+ group, which grew by 32%. Simply put, we are living longer. Further, I was stunned to learn that there are 930 centenarians in Connecticut! I decided to explore extreme longevity with a series of multi-media profiles of some of our oldest citizens who have reached the century mark. I hope through their stories, I can gain and share some insight into the process of aging.
My first subject was Ida Sanderson who turned 100 last August. Ida, a widow, still lives in the house in Hamden where she and her late husband Bill raised their two children. I visited with Ida a few times recently to interview her and take pictures. She is vibrant, sharp and so full of life! She attributes her longevity to good health, a loving marriage, a positive outlook, staying active and her passion for life. I am grateful to have the honor to share her story.
Below, hear Ida reflect on her life in her own words.