Aside from a very very long title, David Snowdon’s book is a lovely memoir-style look at a wonderful scientific study with application and advice amidst stories of beautiful women. Here are a few thoughts I’m left with.
- No matter how brilliant we think we are as theorists, find a way to find the data. Surprising findings are inevitably a part of research and life.
- High idea density early in life and a positive outlook early in life are indicators of longevity.
- Nutrition for healthy aging is as much about where we eat, whom we eat with, the nourishment of heart, mind and soul as the content of the food itself.
- Stroke-free brains can compensate for Alzheimer’s lesions to some extent and mute the symptoms of the disease.
- Emotional support can slow the development of disabilities while physical assistance can increase the incidence of disabilities.
“She was ninety-two and had earned her master’s degree in theology at age seventy-one. “I’m too busy to be in a study about old people,” she told us.
And about a different sister who knitted a pair of mittens each day for charity, “Later that same year, in November 1997, National Geographic ran a photo of her long-fingered, heavily-wrinkled hands knitting a pair of mittens. “I don’t like that photo,” she told me. “It makes me look old.” Her hands looked beautiful to me.”
May my hands look as beautiful for similar reasons.