At 100 years of age, Dorothy relishes every single day
The number of people turning 100 years old is increasing in Australia and across the globe. We explore this trend and talk to KinCare centenarian, Dorothy Yeomans about her life story.
Living to 100 years old is a significant milestone in Australia and one that we will increasingly see. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics and Commonwealth Treasury figures, the past 20 years has seen the number of centenarians rise by more than 200% – in 1995/96, there were 1,521 centenarians living in Australia and now there are estimated to be nearly 5,000.
And these rises are set to continue. By the year 2030, it is projected that Australia will have more than 10,000 centenarians, with approximately 40,000 centenarians by 2055.
This growth in the number of centenarians in Australia reflects increases in general life expectancy. Australia has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. A baby born in Australia today can expect to live to 93.6 years of age for women and 91.5 years for men.
A worldwide phenomena
Australia isn’t the only country where the number of older people is increasing. In fact, the number of centenarians throughout the world is growing. The United Nations estimates there were 180,000 centenarians living in the world in the year 2000. By 2050, this number is projected to multiply 18 times to 3.2 million people. Currently, the United States has the largest number of centenarians (72,000) followed by Japan (61,000), China (48,000), India (27,000) and Italy (25,000).
At KinCare, we provide services to 22 centenarians across Australia and 10 of these are from NSW. One of these is Dorothy Yeomans from the Blue Mountains who has turned 100.
Dorothy was born in Newtown near Sydney and remembers growing up in a world where everything was quieter and not in such a rush. Her recollections include travelling salesmen that came to your house and being served by someone at the local shops to buy your goods and produce, rather than picking items off the shelves like you do in today’s supermarkets.
Married twice, Dorothy had her son Neville at 20 years old and now has two grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Her favourite memory is camping with family at Narrabeen on Sydney’s northern beaches in the summer holidays every year.
Dorothy explains that initially she didn’t feel any different about turning 100. It was only when other people, in her words, “started making a fuss over her” that she realised reaching 100 years of age was a significant achievement.
Throughout her life Dorothy has been quite healthy but like many people, smoked in her youth. She is not on any prescribed medications and doesn’t drink much – although she doesn’t mind the odd chardonnay.
Nonetheless, longevity is in her genes. Both Dorothy’s parents and grandparents lived into their eighties and her brother, Jim passed away at 90 years of age.
Whilst failing eyesight stops her pursuing her much-loved hobby of making clothes, knitting and sewing, Dorothy is still enjoying life to the full. Watching TV at night is one of her favourite pastimes and by her own admission, she “goes out a lot”. Most recently, Dorothy and a friend were photographed by local newspaper, the Blue Mountains Gazette, listening to music at a cafe in her neighbourhood with a range of other diners – some more than half her age.
When asked about her advice for living a long and happy life, Dorothy’s top tips are be kind to people and do what you can for others. At 100 years of age, she is satisfied with her achievements and at this stage of her life, thinks it may be a bit late to start something new. Dorothy is content with her life and relishes every single day.