olympic torch“My secret is to have a good life, enjoy yourself and do the things that make you happy,” says Hiroshi Hoketsu, the oldest Olympian (an equestrian from Japan) to compete in this year’s Olympic games at age 71.

The Olympians and the ideals behind the Olympic games provide many life lessons that can apply for all of us.  At EasyLiving, we look especially to the older Olympians for lessons about aging, staying active and living a positive life.

Hoketsu, for example, shares that while he eats what he wants and enjoys his life, he also dedicates his time to training and the exercises necessary to stay in shape for his sport.  He remains modest and also notes the sacrifices that are involved in continuing this sport that he loves, such as time away from his family and the dedication to training.  He continues to feel that his riding improves, and notes “that is my motivation”.  You can read more about Hoketsu in this Yahoo story.

Walter Walsh competed for the U.S. in the last Olympics held in London in 1948, on the shooting team.  His life story contains many amazing accomplishments and he projects a picture of a vital centenarian.  As he reflected upon being 104 in an interview, “It’s a pleasure to be here to do any damn thing, just as long as I can do it. I don’t care much about what it is. I just want to do it”.  Beyond his Olympic accomplishments, Walsh was an early pioneer in the FBI and has been part of some very interesting times in history (check out more of his story here).  Perhaps most striking in his story are the quotes from his son, including “Most of the things I know that are worthwhile I know from him … he was the greatest dad a kid might have”.

While not an Olympic competitor, we also saw the vitality of aging represented in the torch bearers this year.  Diana Gould, a centenarian who was nominated by her granddaughter, was chosen due to her lifelong commitment to sport.  She played Badminton until she was 86 and continues to lead exercise classes for seniors in her neighborhood.  Gould looked forward to watching the games and says at her age “you have to take every day as it comes, every day is a bonus”.

These Olympians demonstrate the attitude we often see in our clients and the personalities and life histories we are so fortunate to be exposed to in our work.  We strive to make it our goal “to ensure that we do not let our clients’ age, disease, or disability affect their quality of life” and we see examples every day of how our clients continue to live vital lives like some of these Olympic history-makers.

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Want to learn more about how we can help an elder you know to remain active and vital?  Contact us at 727-448-0900 and check out our Senior Concierge Services.  You might also want to download our “More than 50 ways home care can help” profile, which provides ideas about possible activities and assistance our home caregivers can provide: